Thursday and Friday of this week were consumed by workshopping all ten drafts of our final audio essays. Both days were long, rewarding and difficult. It was my first experience workshopping anything, or being workshopped, and I think most of the class was a little nervous.
A writing workshop environment is so intense because you can’t allow yourself to zone out for even a moment. Giving someone feedback on their writing is such a personal experience, and our class has established an open and respectful environment I think we all wanted to honor. I also think Felicia (our professor) did an awesome job in grounding feedback sessions to be constructive, and to dissuade us from obsessing over a particular element of our classmates work.
For my essay, about getting malaria last summer in Senegal and delaying getting medical attention for a long time, I quickly realized that I had not put nearly enough time into my draft for it to be ready to feedback from ten writers. As I work now to revise the past draft into a script, its been overwhelming to cycle through ten copies of the essay that each member of my class scratched up with comments and suggestions. You would be surprised how often feedback matches up.
We’ve been told that the next week will include a lot of time working in the lab on producing our final pieces. I’ll try to supplement individual work time with some quality podcasts outside of class. I’m hoping that during our final full week our class will spend more time sharing work and giving each other feedback on our progress; so far, the feedback has proven invaluable.