One of the most meaningful workshops I went to, was accidental. I had heard from one of my classmates that an essayist was going to be in a room upstairs and across campus, when I had gotten there, a small sign on the door told me she was moved downstairs and back across campus. With two minutes left to get in a class and me, being a small anxious 9th grader, didn’t want to walk into a workshop late, have everybody’s eyes on me and leave a bad first impression. So, I turned around to the next door, hoping that there was a workshop going on in there. It was Teri Grimm’s workshop, a local poet, who I hadn’t paid any attention to before that very moment.
Much of the workshop consisted of us, me and the other people in the room, picking a small stone from a bag, with our eyes closed. And then, with our eyes still closed, we wrote how the stone felt; the stone I was holding was small, no bigger than the pit of a peach, but it was fairly heavy, like a few quarters in my hand, and it was smooth and very cold, I tried to warm it up between my palms. Then, she wanted us to open our eyes and write what it didn’t obviously look like, mine was grey in an obvious way, but if you were to look closely there were streaks of whites and somewhat purple colors, to me it looked like the rolling clouds of a thunderstorm, or a water cup murky from paint, less pretty but more accurate.
The workshop could be described as ‘odd’, but it could also be described as ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’; before going to the workshop I didn’t realize how important it was to focus your detail and attention on other sensory details, rather than what is obviously being seen, that a whole world isn’t really created without smell, taste, touch, and sound. If you give the reader, or even yourself as the writer, only what you see, you only paint a picture, something they can look at, they are never really there with you without being able to hear what you hear, and how you hear it.
– Zoe Lathey, Junior Editor-in-Chief