Classes

       
Jean F Morciglio

Class Title: Writing About the Others
Instructor: Jean F Morciglio
Class Term: July 22-September 2, 2019
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Synopsis

Have you struggled because your life stories were not like everyone else’s? It takes a certain set of skills to write about being different, being the “other.” You have to write without getting burned by the hot potato you are holding in your hand. This course provides skills and strategies for giving voice to the stories of the “others.”

Class Description

Were you unlike other kids in your high school, or very different from the child your parents were expecting? Maybe you struggled with a difficult disease that left you differently abled. Maybe you were bullied for gender issues. Maybe you were the first woman in your family to go to college, or the first woman to achieve something in your field of expertise. Maybe you just want a character in one of your stories to tell a truth that needs to be told. This course provides skills and strategies for giving voice to the stories of the “others.”

Class Goals

Use skills and strategies for giving voice to the “other” stories, stories about not fitting in, changing, being a first, or fighting back. We will explore how to create safe spaces to write about diversity, adversity, and being different.

Instruction/Communication Method:

Most communication will occur throught the Yahoo group and e-mail. In addition, the instructor will offer a weekly optional group meeting that can be accessed via Zoom. While there are no other required materials, students will be given links to resource materials for every class session.   

Outline

In this five-week class, we will do the following:

  • Week 1: LEARNER OUTCOMES
    Learners will:
    • Understand how the course works,
    • Review what this course is and is not- finding resources for therapy and other types of support,
    • Discuss reasons for writing about diversity, adversity, differences, and related challenges,
    • Learn several strategies for writing about challenging topics,
    • Discuss individual goals for taking this course,
    • Learn how to create “safe spaces” for writing and discussion,
    • Discuss how/when to share stories,
    • Discuss how/how not to respond to others’ stories,
    • Choose an area of focus.
    LEARNER EXPERIENCE:
    Learners will read handouts, make posts, and participate in an on-line teaming activity. After experimenting with different writing techniques, the learner will write to a prompt, and submit writing for group and/ or facilitator (optional) by next week.
  • Week 2: LEARNER OUTCOMES
    Learners will:
    • Be familiar with three models for writing adversity stories: restitution, chaos and quest,
    • Explore archetypes vs. stereotypes related to gender, race, economics, ability, etc.
    • Review why people need to hear stories of adversity: fairy tales, fantasy
    • Become familiar with terms: diversity, inclusion, power, and conflict,
    • Practice “safe house” writing strategies,
    • Consider how to write about difficult issues, such as risk, shame, secrets.
    LEARNER EXPERIENCE:
    Learners will read handouts, make posts, and participate in an on-line teaming activity. After experimenting with different writing techniques, the learner will write to a prompt, and submit writing (optional) for group and/ or facilitator by following week.
  • Week 3: LEARNER OUTCOMES
    Learners will:
    • Review techniques for remembering,
    • Consider courage and protection,
    • Be familiar with some of the building blocks of identity,
    • Discuss strategies for writing about challenging topics,
    • Be familiar with the terms related to status and power,
    • Discuss two sides of sharing.
    LEARNER EXPERIENCE:
    Learners will read handouts, make posts, and participate in an on-line teaming activity. After experimenting with different writing techniques, the learner will write to a prompt, and submit writing (optional) for group and/ or facilitator by following week.
  • Week 4: LEARNER OUTCOMES
    Learners will:
    • Be familiar with the building blocks of identity,
    • Discuss strategies for writing about challenging topics,
    • Be familiar with the terms related to status and power,
    • Consider story plot lines such as
    • Conflict
    • Courage
    • Transformation
    • Spiritual journey
    • Healing
    • Restitution
    • Chaos
    • Quest
    LEARNER EXPERIENCE:
    Learners will read handouts, make posts, and participate in an on-line teaming activity. After experimenting with different writing techniques, the learner will write to a prompt, and submit writing (optional) for group and/ or facilitator by following week.
  • Week 5: LEARNER OUTCOMES
    Learners will:
    • Discuss the role of culture in power stories
    • Discuss the other people in a power scenario
    • Be familiar with writing about types/others with sensitivity
    • Consider what “not fitting in” means
    • Discuss changing writing perspectives for more sensitivity
    • Review format, structure, and style
    LEARNER EXPERIENCE:
    Learners will read handouts, make posts, and participate in an on-line teaming activity. After experimenting with different writing techniques, the learner will write to a prompt, and submit writing (optional) for group and/ or facilitator by following week.
  • Week 6: LEARNER OUTCOMES
    Learners will:
    • Consider perspective
      • Multiple perspectives
      • The art of forgiveness
      • Back to safety
    • Discuss finding the universal principles
    • Evaluate pros and cons of sharing final writings
    • Take part in a final review and sharing,
    • Discuss where to go from here,
    • Be familiar with publishing opportunities.
    LEARNER EXPERIENCE:
    Learners will share final writings and establish goals for future writing.

Student Skills, Equipment, and Time Required

Use skills and strategies for giving voice to the “other” stories, stories about not fitting in, changing, being a first, or fighting back. We will explore how to create safe spaces to write about diversity, adversity, and being different.

Time Commitment:

2-4 hours for lessons, reading, and reflecting 2-4 hours for writing

Tuition/Fees for this course

SCN members: $192. Non-SCN members: $240.

Instructor Bio

Jean F. Morciglio currently teaches Life Story Writing for the Bloomingdale Writers Connection. Morciglio has taught developmental education courses for over 15 years in the community college setting, with a focus on Learning Skills, Reading, Writing, and Language Development. She has facilitated National Issues Forums, Community-based Planning, Strategic Planning, and Cogniscope- Deep Problem Solving. She also facilitates several small writing groups. Her previous book focuses on the perceptions and challenges of community college students. She believes that narrative is a powerful tool for transformation. She is currently writing, teaching, and facilitating in Riverview, Florida. Her LinkedIn address: www.linkedin.com/in/jeanmorciglio