The Berlin Wall and I have changed in similar ways. I have made observations of the wall that I did not clearly see in the light of day, noticing the changing color of the light on the wall during the night time. This has also happened to me, my professor saw things in me which I had not realized were so important and interesting. She saw the details in the story I was writing, which seemed to me as unimportant to a reader. Watching her eyes light up at the things my mind glazed over made me realize the potential gold mine my experiences were for writing meaningful pieces. I think that I changed more quickly than the wall did because of the active effort being put into finding out about myself and testing new ways of growing as a writer.
This semester, specifically in the last project, I have learned the true potential for rhetoric tools. The idea of using proper nouns, and so much description that seems over the top to really create an image in the reader’s mind. The use of description has been my favorite tool to master, I have been able to take the image from my head using words to transcribe it into the heads of my peers. The unending conversation has also illuminated my writing. Adding other people’s voices to my writing makes it more credible and creates more of a connection to a reader. I have also learned that the drafting process is much more important than I originally thought. When I am able to throw words on a page and then go back and edit them, my final piece is much more concise and better describes what I am looking to create.
My theory of writing about place is to look around at what you see. Then to take what you see and find the story behind it. To tell the story, real or imaginary, as if it were happening right now. The purpose of this is to better understand the surroundings around you, to know why or how this place came to be. As said by Lailah Grifty Akita, “take a grand adventure to a place, learn the rich history and make your own observation about the place”. This still rings true to me today as my theory about writing about place. As is evident in my where I go piece, I found something that was very personal to me but then also found a story behind my own to draw in others to my special place. This is have found is key, as my professor always says (in the nicest way possible) no one cares about you! Meaning of course as a writer you must find ways to get your reader to care without losing all the emotion and personal things that make your story important to you.
In this class I thought I would learn what my professor wanted to teach me. This was not true. I learned what was important to me, that I am in control of what I want to learn. She gave me the tools to choose what would benefit my life and my writing and she was able to teach my about my independence as a writer, which I did not expect to learn. This class has made me both a better writer and a better person. It has taught me what I care about and what I am willing to work hard at to make the best it can be. She has also taught me that life is crazy and in the world outside of my education I can make all my own choices, whether I choose what will get me fired or promoted is up to me but it is my choice. I loved this class and will recommend it to anyone needing to fulfil a general education requirement because it does more than just check a box. This is one of the first classes that has taught me more about myself than the intended content and I love that.