It was only recently that I realized why I so thoroughly enjoy teaching boomers and seniors creative writing.
The main reason is that their lives and perspectives are so incredibly rich and valuable. You can’t imagine all I’ve learned about the past from their first-person accounts.
One woman is writing about dangerous ice storms her family endured while trying to homestead in the West. (Before she moved West, her grandmother had lived across the street from Abraham Lincoln, by the way.)
Another woman wrote that homes in San Diego were burglarized when all the residents left them to attend the 1915-16 World’s Fair that was held there. But the main part of her story is about an aunt who was a nudist dancer at the fair.
A 90-year-old male student has nearly completed a memoir of his time in a WWII POW camp, from which he miraculously smuggled unbelievable artifacts. One of the stories in his memoir concerns sneaking away from a forced march to beg for food for himself and his compatriots from a German farmhouse, and meeting two “enemy” soldiers there. What he learned concerns that famous movie, The Great Escape. Oh, and those “enemy soldiers?” They kindly gave him and his starving men food.
In another post, I’ll relate some of the other stories (and poems) my older students are writing. This is so much fun, I should be paying them!
If you’d like to see how I got into this business, check out this More Magazine online article.