I had two awesome classes this semester–both with great group dynamics and full of great individuals–and since there wasn’t a single person I was scared to let know where I live, I decided to throw a party at my house to celebrate the end of the year and all the hard work they did.
Since we moved to semesters at Wright State, the creative writing curriculum has become a lot more streamlined and I feel like students are really moving through as a cohort rather than taking random classes here and there and never learning each other’s names. On semesters, I’ve seen real bonding happen between the students as they see each other time and again, and they’ve grown a lot more comfortable together giving and getting feedback. I’m hoping at some point two students will start dating in one of my classes and I’ll be invited to the wedding and introduced to their parents as the one who made it all happen. Parents so rarely seem happy to meet creative writing professors but I think this could be the exception.
I don’t want to toot my own horn, but honk honk. I think the party was pretty great. I bought wristbands and had my husband card everyone. Guests were delighted to eat frozen pizzas and drink free beers (I’m not going to lie: we used it as an opportunity to get rid of some bottles people had brought over that we didn’t like and students seemed happy because the beer was still a few steps up from what they could reasonably afford. I remember in college when my girlfriends and I wanted to take it up a notch and let the boys know we were classy, we’d get Coors Light). Mostly it was great because of the guests, who were funny, lively, sweet, and a delight to hang out with.
I’m thinking this might have to become an annual tradition. I remember how much it meant to me when professors opened their homes to me when I was a student and how fun it was to socialize with them as people and writers. It’s another reminder of how as writers we’re all facing the same blank page, and how far community and free pizza can go to making it feel less alone.
Thanks to all my great students! I hope next semester’s punk-asses can live up.