We began the semester with the very beginning of the writing process — pre-writing. Students set up journals that they will write in every day for the next several weeks. The idea is that they will develop a broad collection of rough writing from which they can pick and choose the best ideas to polish for in-class workshop. We also began practicing the skill of reading like a writer with a poem and a short personal essay. And we went over course norms.
Homework: complete the “Quilting” exercise from our pre-writing book. In short, dig through your clothes (especially older clothes), pick a few that evoke strong memories or emotions in you, list all of this information, and then begin writing about one or more pieces — particularly where there might be conflict between two or more.