I got to speak at Kennedy High School, South Lane County today, then do five workshops with student groups, working on personal narrative and developing conflict. The students had read The End of Boys, my memoir, and they wanted to talk about process, structure, the use of flashbacks, and what it was like to put something like a memoir out into the world for the general public to read.
I came away from the experience amazed. The students were honest, vulnerable, engaged, and ready to write. They had stories to tell, and were willing to work through difficult emotions. When I asked for volunteers and examples, student after student impressed me.
There are times as an educator or writer when I feel like no one’s reading anymore, no one’s thinking, no one cares about truth and writing and imagery and evocation. But today wasn’t like that. Today restored my faith.