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No. of Recommendations: 8
I asked one of my classmates last semester if I could interview him for the school paper. (I had already pitched the idea to the editor, a girl who offers little to no feedback about anything ever.) He reluctantly agreed. LOL I think mostly at his wife' insistence. (She works for the school, and I have met her a handful of times as well.)

The short story is that this man attends classes because he suffers from Alzheimer's and college is part of his treatment plan. He really is just such an interesting guy... He's 69, so his life experiences are totally different from most of his classmates even without considering his reasons for being there. His reluctance was more because he doesn't think he's that big of a deal than because he doesn't want to share his story. During the interview, which was really just a great experience for me, at least half of what he told me was 'off the record.' He told me not to make him out to be some kind of hero, a challenging request to meet because, well, he is a hero to a lot of people. In the class that I had with him, for example, the young guys were always just in awe of him and the stories he told.

The story was printed in January's issue. I've received quite a bit of positive feedback from teachers and classmated I've had, particularly those who also know the man I wrote the story about. Last night I ran into him and his wife. They are taking a class together this semester. (She doesn't always take classes with him, but it's Shakespeare, and she thought it would be fun. The teacher for the class is awesome.) Anyway, his wife thanked me for writing the story and said that she cried when she read it. She said that I captured what is in her husband's heart very well. He also thanked me for the story. His wife laughed then and said that when he read the story he said, "This isn't right." She wondered if he was reading the same story that she had just read. So she asked him wat wasn't right and he said, "So many people deserve this so much more than me." That's how he felt about the story from the beginning, though.

I am just so glad that they liked the story. I got so much out of writing it.

Rebecca
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Rebecca: Fantastic! Way ta go!

Mark.
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Rebecca:

Way to go...people stories are always more interesting that stories about "stuff." I just finished a column titled "Killing My Best Friend."
I was one of the toughest columns I've written in a long time, and it seems to have sparked an unexpected editor response. We'll see how the readers respond.

I do "stuff" easily, but writing from the heart doesn't come easily. I struggled with the column.

Anyway, congratulation on the recognition and keep writing.

Now back under my rock.

Spence, who had writers block.
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Spence,

I agree that people stories are more interesting in stuff stories. My other story in the same issue of the paper was about the statewide community college funding crisis. BORING!

I actually have an easier time writing people stories. I enjoy them more... I feel some added pressure to do a good job, but I also have more faith in my ability to do a good job.

I have a lot more trouble with pieces that are more straight reporting. It's very difficult for me to lose my voice, something that I need to do when I am reporting something. I struggle so much to write in newspaper style. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that I've never really done it, beyond the 2 articles I did for the paper that were more in that style.

I have a Writing for Media class this semester. The first class is tonight. Maybe this class will address this issue. I hope to take a journalism class in the fall, just for the purpose of expanding my writing skills. Well, that and having some sort of marketable skill.

Rebecca
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Rebecca:

Writers write. All it takes is a deadline and sweating blood to meet the deadline. I write because I enjoy writing, and I've found a way to subsidize my outdoor interests.

Does your class instructor have any credentials such as having made a living writing? Teachers usually can teach; however, the best teachers come with a perspective of what it takes to do a particular job...in your case writing and being published.

Now back under my rock.

Spence, who is stalling from doing any real writing.
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Does your class instructor have any credentials such as having made a living writing? Teachers usually can teach; however, the best teachers come with a perspective of what it takes to do a particular job...in your case writing and being published.
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No idea. All I know is that she is an adjunct, which of course could mean a thousand things in terms of her credentials. I guess I'll find out tonight. :) The school (a community college) is supposed to have good journalism and broadcast departments. The school paper advisor (also an adjunct) is very well qualified, and I have heard excellent things about the department heads from those majors. So, hopefully this teacher will be as good as the department.

Rebecca
also avoiding any real writing... I'm a little stuck. I'll figure out where I'm going, though. :)
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I actually have an easier time writing people stories. I enjoy them more... I feel some added pressure to do a good job, but I also have more faith in my ability to do a good job.

Amazing comment. I don't write, but I like to talk and tell people about the fascinating people I've met. Considering how uninspiring my own life is, I find a lot of inspiration in other people's lives. One person who has listened attentively with my endless retells, said that I am a different person when I talk about others. I didn't expect that.

I have a lot more trouble with pieces that are more straight reporting. It's very difficult for me to lose my voice, something that I need to do when I am reporting something. I struggle so much to write in newspaper style. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that I've never really done it, beyond the 2 articles I did for the paper that were more in that style.

Good point. When my interest is captured, I find it impossible to lose my voice after a time. It is a difficult struggle to remain neutral and objective about something that genuinely interests me, but it is necessary. Sometimes I try to take the emotion and recognition of human qualities out of a thought to attempt this, I don't know if this will help? It doesn't always work for me.
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