My Summer Booster Course on college-level writing—which is not an English course—is the perfect place to get comfortable with personal writing and learn how to have fun with it.
When I’m working with students one-on-one and ask them to write about themselves, I am often greeted with a blank stare or confused look, as if I’ve just told them Bigfoot is real. While the expressions themselves are priceless, this is sad all the same. It is almost as if our educational system programs students with the “5 paragraph essay” form as their default setting.
Whether you’ve noticed it or not, creative writing is slowly being deemphasized in our classrooms. Yes, the “research paper” is key, particularly when we are preparing high school students for what they’ll encounter on the college level. Breaking down and analyzing someone else’s work, identifying credible sources, and developing a strong thesis are all critical components of our educational system and the real world students will encounter later on. But by relying almost entirely on this particular style of writing, we’ve essentially silenced students’ voices and their ability to express themselves on a personal level.
I am a firm believer that there needs to be a healthy balance between creative and academic writing. But while preparing students for college writing is important, so is getting them in! We need more creative writing activities and opportunities for students to share their stories through personal narratives because, after all, that’s what they’ll be expected to do during the college application process through their personal statements and supplemental essays.
The perfect time to develop these essential personal writing skills is right now. As summer approaches and students have a bit more time in their schedules, one of the best ways they can fill up their days is with supplemental learning—everything school curricula just don’t have time to fit in.
The purpose of my class is to help students find their voice again and become comfortable expressing their opinions. It will be student-driven as well to ensure we get back to the fundamentals: brainstorming, outlining, drafting, and peer review. Not only will we explore multiple forms of writing so that there’s something for everyone, but we’re going to have fun too. Unfortunately, this is something that often isn’t associated with writing anymore.
So sign up today, and let’s have a blast together! You might even walk away with an idea or two about how to approach your Personal Statement.