Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! So, here we are in December already…the last month to close out another year. When we get to this point in the year we have a good sense of where we’ve been, what we wished we’d done, and what we want to do in a new year. It’s also at this time of year, if you’re like me, that we’re coming to an end of another semester. As an instructor that means many things, especially as a writing instructor: mounds of papers to grade, panicky students, grateful students, elation that you’ve made it through another semester, and sadness that you’ll miss some students or a special class dynamic.
If you’re a student (or ever have been a student, you’ll remember) it means crunch time, late nights, all-nighters, elation that you made it through another semester, and sadness that you will miss a favorite teacher, a favorite class, or friends that will go in different directions in the coming year.
Because of the craziness at this time of year, especially this week and next (right on the heels of a late Thanksgiving!) I will be making my intro into my prompts a bit shorter…some of you will like that, I imagine! LOL!
Without further ado, here is your twenty-third prompt:
“School’s Out…for the Semester!”
(And, yes, I do hear Alice Cooper‘s song in my head as I’m writing this…)
1) In your daybook write a list of some of your favorite memories of a school year ending (or a particular semester). You can start with kindergarten and go up through the grades if you like. As with some of my other prompts, this will give you a plethora of things to work with later when you feel that you’re having a writer’s dry spell.
2) On the flip side write a list of some of your worst end of school/semester endings. Was it a missed project? Was it the year you got strep throat and missed the last few weeks? Maybe it was a car accident that left you without a car for two weeks to get back and forth to school…right at finals (that happened to me during undergrad!). Maybe it was a break-up with your boyfriend/girlfriend…or maybe you just hated the class and plain bombed it. Write about it now…with some distance…find the humor, or really let the ill-feelings come out…it can make for some good writing!
3) Write about your favorite teacher. It could be a teacher from elementary, junior high, high school, or college – or a teacher from every year. Some are lucky to have one teacher that changed their life. I’m one of those people. I’ve written about mine several times, Ann Johnson, my high school art teacher, who is still one of my dearest friends. In fact, in the book Company of Women: New and Selected Poems, (Chatter House Press, 2013) that I co-authored with Jayne Marek and Mary Sexson, my poem “What She Taught Me” is the title of my section in the book. It is a poem that I wrote in honor of Ann. So, write a poem about your most influential teacher. If you’re lucky enough to still be in contact – send the poem to them!
Here’s a recent photo of me and Ann:
4) Take any of the writings that you got from the prompts above and then hone in on one for 10 minutes or until you can’t write any longer. You should be able to come up with a poem, essay, short story, or a play from utilizing any of these prompts. Once you do that and you’ve written a decent draft, revise! And, then revise again!
5) As with all writing, this “School’s Out…” writing should be fun! And I remind you that if you ever want to share any successes or attempts that you get from these prompts, don’t hesitate to let me know. You can contact me here.
Look for another prompt next Wednesday! Until then, keep writing!