Friday, June 12, 2015

Classes galore -- June 12, 2015

A swath of carmine bougainvillea and a row of cypress trees.

First day of classes all day, from 9:00 to 5:00, with a short break to wander around under gray skies. Tomorrow, Sunday, Monday will be similar, but then the schedule lightens up a bit.

In the morning seminar, the professor emphasized that the difference between Creative Nonfiction and journalism/ reporting lies in the revision of one's work. You start by writing something -- observations, memory, or the like --- and then interrogate you wrote -- "Why are you there? What don't I know about you? What do you mean?" With that, the surface of the factoid or reported event becomes riddled with insights, and then transforms as you re-write and rewrite, into a narrative worthy of Lewis Carroll or John McPhee, or anything in between. That's the idea at least.

Students in the courtyard taking a break.

That's what I learned today, along with how to use the university computer software, how many different forms must be completed at every turn (the school believes in evaluations, large and small), and how the writing workshops will function. I had lunch with my "buddy," Stanzi Frei, who's a year ahead of me and a fascinating person.

View of LA from near campus -- a mostly cloudy day, and about as warm in Anchorage as here.

The parking garage for the building -- at higher-end LA garages, you can get a car wash right in the garage, so your car is shiny-bright for the evening. Not particularly water-saving, especially because it's very hard for an urban California car to accumulate a real layer of dirt like the average Anchorage vehicle.

Lilies-of-the-Nile below the Antioch building.

A leaf on the pavement.

By 5:00, we were all waiting for a pizza dinner welcoming us to campus. I stood in the narrow hall with the chatter of dozens of writers, young and old echoing around me, just enough energy left to observe how different this was from a gathering of lawyers and judges -- in dress, mix of ethnicities, variety of languages (a few people were speaking Spanish), and topics of discussion.

Drought tolerant plants -- grasses and palms. A friend quoted her husband who grew up in California as, "California water -- too thin to plow and too thick to drink."

The pizza showed up by 5:30, but the line was still very long, and I opted to walk to Sprouts Farmers Market (a mid-range Whole Foods knock-off on the way back to the hotel) for dinner from the freezer to fix in the hotel room. Jim's in Seattle to see Regina graduate tomorrow, so I'm on my own.

This might be an American Hornbeam -- quickly becoming a favorite for its uncanny serenity (palm trees still rule).

A cat at the Sony lot.

Caged angels in the City of Angels.

Eucalyptus tree and cypress trees against the gray sky.

White bush roses, and a small pink flower.

1 comment:

  1. I just did the annual car was of my car and had Keith's car washed for the first time in a few years as well. I think those Californians would have had a heart attack at the amount of grime on our cars!
    I hope your classes go well!