Thursday, July 5, 2012

You just wish your critique group could be as awesome (and productive) as ours

On Tuesday, we participated in a writing marathon in our "Teacher as Writer" class, which was basically explained to us as driving around with our response groups to find different places to write for a change of scenery. If people asked us what we were doing, our instructions were to simply say, "We're writers."

In theory, this seemed like a really great idea and while our group had fun, I think we would have been much more productive if we had just stayed in our assigned classroom. Since our group of four ladies gelled from the very beginning, when we get together to talk about our writing, we also talk like old girlfriends. So when not shackled down to the confines of a classroom, we found ourselves with even greater distractions, especially since we decided to drive to Ann Arbor and attempted to look like we fit in as students at the University of Michigan when we're really just lowly Eastern Michigan University graduate students.

And while we did get some writing done, it wasn't nearly as much as it would have been had we just stayed in the classroom.

So what did we do?

Well, we walked around U of M's campus for a while

Then we went to the Hatcher Graduate Library and walked around to find a spot to write.

In the meantime, we marveled at all the books in other languages:

Then we found a spot in the grandiose reference room that made us feel very ivy league and decided that this, indeed, would be a great place to be writers.
We totally look like U of M students, right?
It's impossible not to feel smart in a library like this
Though with the number of smart people per capita occupying this building, curiosity was more than likely not going to get the better of people so we could tell them, "Oh, we're writers". If anything, our tendency to chit chat when in each other's presence would get us asked to leave by some austere librarian with a bun piled on top of her head while sporting reading glasses around her neck dangling by a bedazzled chain. Thankfully, that didn't happen.

After a couple hours of writing in the library, we decided to grab lunch at Amer's Deli across the street from campus, which my classmate Mitra described as "the poor man's Zingerman's". This was supposed to be a working lunch, but this is where the "old girlfriends" problem came into play: we spent the whole lunch talking instead of writing.

And me being the foodie that I am, became smitten with all the sandwich selections, eventually deciding on a simple pastrami with Dijon. Isn't that a thing of beauty?
But then I actually I took a bite of it and the Dijon mustard LITERALLY - and I'm not being hyperbolic here - cleared out my sinuses. It was a good sandwich, but I had to wipe off some of the excess mustard or else my sinuses would've ceased to exist.

After lunch, we wandered aimlessly around downtown Ann Arbor, got some ice cream, and then decided perhaps our best course of action would be to just go back to our own campus, sit in our assigned classroom, and get some writing done for the last hour of class.

That didn't work too well either. Our drive back to EMU had us laughing and joking too much to be able to come back and take any sort of writing seriously. We did, however, decide in what may seem to be complete and total irony, that we need to continue to get together after the class ends on Friday to help each other with our writing. Oh who are we kidding? We'll probably just do it so we can get together and gossip. I feel like we need to get a t-shirt in the same vein as the ones that say, "I'm on a drinking team with a bowling problem" but instead of that, ours should say, "I'm in a gossip group with a writing problem."

So writers and authors out there, tell me what makes your critique group so awesome?

1 comment:

  1. Haha I had to remember you were from Michigan when you said U of M - I couldn't help but think of U of Minnesota!