In class on Monday October 27, 2014 Bill Mangrum had us perform a series of writing exercises. We have never done any of these exercises before but I really enjoyed them.
We started class off with a fifteen minute write. This consisted of writing about whatever we wanted to for fifteen minutes straight. The only restrictions that we had was that we could not lift our pen from our paper, we were required to continuously write. Sentence structure, grammar, and spelling did not count against us in this write. Mangrum just wanted us to write, trust our pen, and focus. After the fifteen minutes was up a few fellow scholars were called on to read aloud what they had written in those fifteen minutes. They varied from story’s to journal entries of their personal thoughts. I was not called upon to read in this round but I had written about everything that was on my mind. This was good because then in the next round of writing, I had already gotten all the distractions inside my head down on paper. I could give all my focus and creativity to my writing at this point.
The second round was the most unusual exercise we have done all semester. Mangrum first told us that we were to write about our left foot, for twenty minutes. Then he cracked open a bag of candy and said “Write about your left foot, candy, and the end of the world.” I thought how weird of a topic of things to write about. But then I decided to make all three topics fit together into one story. To sum up my writing it consisted of the world ending due to a poison gas in the air, and a cloud that would make its way to kill me and the other survivors. We are at a compound and an infection has left me with only my left foot to walk with. The only reason that we are alive is because we discovered that the candy tootsie rolls creates an immunity by coating our immune system so we cannot die but we ran out of candy and then all die within that week. I did read my story aloud after the twenty minutes of writing was over. It created a lot of laughs throughout the classroom. A few other people read and some of them only wrote about these topics in a way of three separate stories, they made no connections.
Mangrum at the end of these exercises asked us as a class why we thought he would ask us to write about our left foot, candy, and the end of the world. At first I wasn’t sure at all, my first thought was that we were starting a creative writing unit. But then a fellow scholar said so that we would make connections in our writing and he was absolutely correct. I finally understood this exercise and was proud of myself for making the connections of three completely different topics. It was so beneficial to me because Mangrum then made this relevant to our writing as scholars because he taught us that if we could just make connections in ALL of our writings that we would be way better writers and scholars. That all our professors want is to read something that transfer knowledge and connects the topics that are in the paper.
I enjoyed these classroom exercises so much! It was a class that I am glad that I didn’t miss, I feel confident to say that this class time on Monday has been the most influential class room time I’ve had for learning how to be a better writer. I took so much away from this experience because this making connections in papers is a skill that I can use throughout all my class in college. This lesson has been influential and universal in my learning experience. I had a great time with these exercises and I cannot wait to see where it leads my in my writing career.