Fieldnote 5 Sep. 2012

Drove to DHS, high school, to give a writing workshop to a group of students during their after-school program hour. They range from freshmen to seniors, nearly all Latino, save for one young man who said his background was “Arabic”–using the language to describe his ethnic identification, what I heard certain people in NYC mention when identifying as “Spanish” but when not from Spain.

We did the “I remember” free-write. Two rules, I said, slightly out of order. Rule number one, no rules: just write. Rule number two–which they said contradicted rule one–keep your pen/pencil moving. It’s the ideas that come from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind. Peter Elbow seems to pick up on these generative ideas as well in his work in composition. The intention is to produce writing without purpose, but exploration.

They wrote for probably thirty minutes in total during all of the entire free write session. It was cool to see all the pages they produced.

I heard some Spanish, and I spoke a little. I received a warm response when I code switched. I mentioned my biography. The teachers from the HS seemed happy to have me return to run further workshops.

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