I think we were all hanging on Peggy and Noel's every word. In fact, we were still talking at 4:30 and nobody was getting up to leave! I particularly loved the background information on ways to think about autobiographical writing. In my field we also think in terms of the narratives that people use to make sense of the world or even, you might say, to create their own lives. Folklorist Kathleen Stewart uses these background narratives -- the narratives we know -- to understand those moments when "things snap into place" and "suddenly, you get it." Or as songwriter Leonard Cohen says, "Everybody knows." I think many of us are struggling with translating those meanings for students who might not have the same background narratives or shared understandings. But y'all came up with some great classroom applications of Welty's One Writer's Beginnings, including 1) a creative writing project, 2) an essay project based on memory and photographs -- comparing a memory held by two different people, 3) a project exploring imagery and figurative language by trying to listen like Eudora Welty, and 4) making Welty's work more accessible by making her time period more "real" for the students through field trips.
We meet again January 10 at Tougaloo. For that meeting read the following short stories:
1. Why I Live at the P.O.
2. A Worn Path
3. Moon Lake
5. The Demonstrators
6. Lily Daw and the Three Ladies
The discussion of A Worn Path will be held from 11 - 12:30 p.m. We will first view a film of the short story, and then Noel and Peggy will lead a discussion. This film viewing and discussion will be open to the public and advertised. It will be a brown bag, and we'll break out our lunches after the public has gone. (This post was written by Shana not Maggie.)
Note: Eudora Alice Welty (1909 - 2001), oil on canvas, 1988, by Mildred Wolfe, hangs in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Here is the copyright statement. Do you recognize the chair!