Monday, September 5, 2011

Purple Slaw, Blogs and Creativity

I was chopping purple cabbage tonight for an Asian slaw recipe I love that also includes peanuts and cilantro. I like to chop it super fine and serve it in a pale bowl for color contrast. As I was chopping, I kept thinking about my creative nonfiction workshop and the blogs that I had the students create for the class. I'd just checked out how they looked, read what they wrote for their first entries, and couldn't stop thinking about them. It's hard to explain how differently the blogs are making me think about my students. It's like they're more fully present, more three-dimensional, more complex. Their blogs are like portals into their other lives that I don't get to see.

I'm not sure how this will play out, what stumbles and bumps will emerge. I do know setting it up has already proven to be much more work than the "regular" way I used to teach the workshop. Still, something about this approach is lighting a fire in my brain and heart. Their blogs let me stay connected to my students in new ways. Their blogs also allow me to witness their approaches to creativity—visually, socially, and artistically.

So far, so good.