I really don't know what to say about this week. We didn't really learn anything we just worked on our elements of fiction project. Literally, every day our schedule was as follows: poem of the day, SSR/creative writing, work on project. There was no instruction really, we just worked on getting our projects done. This was nice but it makes it hard to write about what I learned.
I guess I did learn this week, though, just not form instruction. I got to learn more about fantasy and how and why it is used in literature. I spent the whole week just looking at this in the story "The Rocking Horse Winner," and I was actually surprised to find deeper meanings and influences after working with this story for several days. It took me days of working on the project to realize that this story was a reflection of human nature, especially addiction, gambling, and superstition and the consequences of these. The chart thing we filled out for our stories was actually pretty helpful. It was confusing at first, but once I got it filled out it was helpful in writing my body paragraphs.
Right now I am still working on body paragraphs and have yet to do introduction and conclusion. I'm pretty hecking stressed that this essay is due on Sunday because I have a lot of work to do, but it's whatever, I guess. I'm really really glad that we don't have to do a presentation anymore. Also, the group format of this project is weird because I'm literally writing an essay by myself on a story that my group mates have never read while they are collaborating on a different essay on stories that I have not read. I don't understand this set-up and I'm not sure that it's fair.
So, this was more of a stream of thinking rather than a reflection on my learning, but that is because of the weird structure of this week. These are my thoughts, though, and what we did. Hopefully I am able to finish my essay this weekend without dying :(
The most important day of class for me this week was Tuesday. On Tuesday, we had a guest speaker come in and talk to us and this was really helpful to me. Our guest speaker was a science fiction author named James Jackson. I'm not a huge science fiction person, but the science fiction part wasn't what was important. In our class, he talked mostly about why and how he writes as well as the revision process.
I thought that this information was really helpful. It probably wasn't personally applicable to most people, but it was to me. Something that stood out to me was his discussion on having a writing schedule- needing to designate a time and place for writing and sticking to this schedule as much as possible. This is something that I have been struggling with, but am finally getting the hang of. I also liked how he talked about his writing process and how he thought most of what he wrote was garbage, but it didn't matter because he was writing. I think this is very important to remember. Also helpful was his talking about how all writers think they suck. I kind of thought I was alone in this and maybe I did just suck. I guess a lot of the things he said were helpful.
After he was done talking to the whole class, we started to work on creative writing and he talked to us individually. During this time, he asked me if I had any questions, and I asked him how many words were in his novels. This seems like kind of a random question, but I really needed to know. Why? Because I'm working on one right now. I haven't told like anyone because I'm weird like that, but I wanted more information. After I asked, we talked for a little bit about word count and writing want you want to write and not giving up and some publishing suggestions. This little discussion was really helpful to me, and I felt really good and a lot more confident afterwards.
So, now I've written a ton and have only covered one day, but this was what was important to me and what I learned this week. Beyond this, we just worked on poem of the week, revision, and elements of fiction readings.
The saga of my bad memory continues...
This week we started every day by listening to some weird poetry by Ross Gay. This guy enjoys weird things way too much. I enjoyed the poems, but some of them were really disgusting. Eating bird poop? Making out with an ant? No thank you. Ew.
We also started reading short stories for the elements of fiction that we were supposed to start like two weeks ago. I guess we will be working on that more now.
A lot of what we worked on this week, though, was revision. Early on, we revised our poem of the week essay from last week, which I really did not want to do. What we did for this was go through and comment on our own essays, pointing out good and bad things in an objective manner. This was interesting. My essay was not nearly as bad as I expected that it was going to be, at least. When I was writing it, I thought it was going to be complete trash, but when I read it, it actually made sense. Revising my essay actually made me feel a lot better about my writing. During creative writing, we also worked on revising some of the old work we did, so that was interesting. I don't know what I want to turn in or whatever yet, but I'm definitely have some options so that's good. Okay, honestly, what I'm taking from all this is really to be more confident in my abilities and my writing. I love to write, but I usually think that my writing sucks. Recent events, however, indicate that my writing may actually be pretty good, at least sometimes. I know this isn't a learning objective for AP Lit, but it is actually pretty important to me. So anyways, thanks for the confidence booster, that's pretty nice.
I guess that sums up the week. It was pretty alright, I would say. Yup. Next week we have to deal with another poem and probably some essays- gross.