Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I am a Writer.

at Two Writing Teachers!
Last Thursday afternoon I rushed out of school, drove the old familiar route to campus, and squeezed my car into one of those awkward, always-too-small parking garage spaces.  I lifted my face to the calming sunshine and opened my ears to the joyful chattering of student life.  Like a weary traveler returning home after a long journey, I let my eyes drink in the shapes and colors of beloved buildings, paths, trees, and open spaces.  I blinked, and everything seemed to grow brighter and sharper around the edges: years of memories melting into the present moment.

For me, coming to campus always means coming home.

Last Thursday, I was coming home to begin a new journey, one that I know will lead me to grow as a writer and as a teacher.  I pushed open the worn wooden doors of one of my favorite old buildings and listened to my footsteps echo down the still hallway.  When I found the right room, I dutifully grabbed an information packet, made a nametag, got a snack, and sat down timidly.  I tapped on the table, swung my feet, fiddled with my laptop.  As more footsteps brought more nametag makers and packet recipients, energy buzzed through me.  Did they seem nice?  How many were there?  Would we get along?

Finally, the circle of tables was full.  Full of teachers.  Full of writers.

And we wrote.  We wrote to discover and describe and declare ourselves as writers.

And then we shared.  First, there was silence, and then the buzzing energy bubbled out of me until I spoke up: the first to reveal myself, the first to offer my words as a gift to the community we hoped to build.

This is what I wrote, and what I shared:

I am a digital writer. I love the easy flow and freedom of writing digitally, being able to move and change words and sentences as my thoughts fly.  I also love the ability to link new writing to old writing, embellish my words with pictures, and connect with others easily. 
I am a reflective writer. Writing helps me solidify my wispy, nebulous thoughts into concrete beliefs and ideas. 
I am a bilingual writer. Aunque muchas veces mis palabras vuelen a los dedos en inglés, también me encanta escribir en español. 
I am a teacher-writer. Writing makes me a better teacher, and teaching makes me a better writer. 
I am a poet. No words are more beautiful or more sincere than the words that rise up out of my heart and arrange themselves into poems.  Nature calls me to make poems out of her. 
I am a writer who is full of words and in love with words.
I am a writer who sees the world with writing eyes.
I am a writer who thinks, learns, remembers, creates, and connects through writing.

Thanks to all of you, my slicing friends, I had the courage to share my writing self with people I had never met.  Now, my words are weaving together with others to build a new community: the Columbus Area Writing Project.  I can't wait to see what our words will do this summer!


  1. So excited for you! Loved my summer experience in the NWP.

  2. Sounds like you are well on your way to a wonderful, writing summer.

  3. Boy does this tie-in to what I asked about today in my plea for more thoughts about teachers as writers. Thanks for sharing this piece of writing with us today, Jennifer. Have a great time this summer with the Columbus Area Writing Project!

  4. Jennifer, I am so excited that you get to participate in a summer writing project! I hope that one summer it will be me. I look forward to reading more of your writing in the weeks and months to come.

  5. Wow-so wonderful Jennifer. I think you will be such a wonderful part of that group. Perhaps I can join our local project someday. It always sounds so special when others write about it. Best wishes to you for taking on this new experience!

  6. Jennifer, you have such a gift with words. Your descriptions always make me feel like I am right there with you. What a great way to introduce yourself to the group! I can't wait to learn more of your writing journey.

  7. "As more footsteps brought more nametag makers and packet recipients.."
    I love the way you write. And I love what you shared.


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