Editor's note: Friday, 5/18 saw the pilot of a writing workshop project initiated by members of the alumni group here at U of O. Because of the success of this first meeting, the project will be expanded in the near future.
While I had never been to the Serbu Youth Center before, my expectations were surpassed this past Friday. Upon entering, there was a comfortable air that existed between the outside and inside students. Even though I had never met the youth before, I was greeted with smiles and handshakes, which facilitated more talking, and a loose, relaxed environment for the workshop.
I was surprised at each inside student’s willingness to share his/her stories. This was what made me excited about the future of this project. It seemed that most of the inside students were eager to share their stories and the others’ enjoyed listening to each person speak. I think this was partly due to the nature of the prompts that Jordan (facilitator) provided the class with. They were creative, broad, and most importantly, fun topics to write about in a creative manner. I think this, more than anything, allowed for an academic setting that was centered more on the people involved than the material.
Upon arriving, I was unsure as to how the idea of a writing workshop would be received within the group. Within minutes of first meeting some of the inside students, however, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were interested in the idea of both writing their own material, as well as sculpting others’ work with constructive criticism. I think that this group has great potential in the future because of the enthusiasm I observed this past Friday, and I believe that improvement in grammar, punctuation, and story structure could be made if the students are enthusiastic about honing their ideas into a logical, cohesive piece that is able to affect others.
I would love to see this project continued in the future. I would be happy to volunteer my time to help out at Serbu as I could easily tell that the inside students would enjoy our presence there. I think that knowing students’ enjoy the workshops gives us more than enough motivation to keep this project going in the future.