New school year

My school is two weeks into the new year, and it’s been a good start.

Busy, of course, but the mood on campus is upbeat, and in my classes we’ve already begun using an online forum and Google Drive to write and share. We’ve also done some idea-generating activities so that we can write ‘from plenty,’ as James Moffett put it.

I’m going to do an inquiry this term involving academic discourse & Sheridan Blau’s commentary activity. More on that in an upcoming post.

I’ve also been busy with my piece on Gay’s Lion Farm for the El Monte history reader. Writing history is difficult for me, as it’s similar yet not quite the same as writing about literature, and I’m on my fourth ‘official’ draft, not to mention endless notes and ‘idea chunks,’ digital & handwritten. I hope to be finished with the piece by next weekend, though.

One more neat thing going on: my journalism students are going to work this fall with folks from local public television station KCET, with an opportunity to have their work published on the station’s website. More on that soon as well.

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LA Writing Project Writing Marathon

This morning, the Los Angeles Writing Project Summer Institute held its annual Writing Marathon. We met at Jameson Brown Coffee on Allen Ave in Pasadena and walked over to the Gold Line station a block or so north.

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The train station platform is very…Southern Californian.

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Our first stop was Memorial Park in Old Pasadena. (My first date with Marlene ended here while I waited for my train. I lived in Koreatown then, and we’d met for dinner at the late lamented Gordon Biersch at One Colorado.) After we walked over to the park, fellows chose writing prompts from a bag that Shahe had brought; then we spread out and wrote for about 15 minutes.

In the middle of our writing, the bells from nearby St. Andrew Church rang out for ten o’clock.

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An old man came by and fed pigeons.

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I wrote a draft of an introduction to the piece on Gay’s Lion Farm that Romeo Guzman invited me to write for the El Monte/South El Monte history reader he and his partner Caribbean Fragoza are putting together under the banner of the South El Monte Arts Posse (SEMAP).  After we wrote for about 15 minutes, we reconvened and shared our writing.

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Next, we rode the train to the Mission Street station in South Pasadena, and walked along El Centro to the South Pasadena Public Library.

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We passed Firefly Bistro, site of the rehearsal dinner for our wedding (and many Valentine’s Day dinners.)

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Outside the library, Shahe passed out prompts. Ravy pointed out an unusual tree.

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Inside the library, I noticed this:

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I was seduced by the 50-cent book stands.

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After writing at the library, we headed to Olvera Street on the Gold Line (via Union Station), and enjoyed lunch together at La Golondrina.   While we waited for our food, we shared our writing once more.

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After lunch, we head back to Allen Avenue.  The train pulled away and we walked back to our cars.

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