Mira Costa College and San Dieguito Adult Education have offered these classes for ten years under a government mandate, meaning there is no tuition/nocredit for the classes. Teachers are Mac Hartley and Betty Springer Baker. There are six classes available to choose from.
VARIETY OF STUDENTS
Students are a good mix of professionals, blue collar, retired and young mothers hoping to learn how to make their autobiographies interesting as well as factual. The method of teaching is not 'textbook'. We write 'off the top of our heads getting the story out and working with the details of spelling, grammar and punctuation in the re-write. The main objective is to get the story out of the recesses of your mind, and not get caught up in the intricacies of composition.
WRITE, LISTEN, RE-WRITE
We listen to each other's stories, and this triggers a memory in each individual. We may not have experienced the exact same incident, but something similar. Or the place it happened is familiar. Or the people acted like our family. Each person in class will say that they go home with many ideas for more stories of their own.
IT IS HABIT FORMING
I am a perpetual student! I've been attending for six years, because it keeps me focused . There are no actual assignments, but I have given myself the goal of a story a week. That's how books get written. By writing. I don't say that all my stories are wonderful, but they are slices of time that I experienced. They are stories that my children find heartwarming as well as informative.
DESK TOP PUBLISHING, TOO
Each Christmas I give them a nice self-published volume of printed stories... usually about fifty of them, give or take a few. Someday, God willing, we will have the entire book professionally bound for posterity.
I write about the good, the bad and the ugly, in the hope that in passing these memories on, they will help to build character in the readers. I pass on my family traditions, morals, political holdings and spiritual beliefs to the next generation knowing that they will do the same for their children. We plan, as a family, to contribute stories to TIDBITS OF TIME until one by one we run out of time. Some of my children and grandchildren have already submitted stories of their own. It is a joy to find out that "leaves don't fall far from the tree" and the desire to write has come through their genes.
Writing the memories of my life has been by far the most rewarding thing I have done for myself and my family. In addition to writing over 450 stories, it keeps me pleasantly occupied and out of the shopping malls. I've learned computer at an age when most people wouldn't even consider trying. And I've joined the Super Information Highway, by coding these pages by myself and putting my Home Page up on the World Wide Web. My mind is alert, I'm constantly researching for new ideas to write about and my family loves me more for having made the effort!
JOIN THE CROWD
Next time your community college catalog comes out, look for a class like this! If there isn't any listed ... call the school and see why not! Help get it started!
My book "All About Life Story Writing" could be a first step. Order it now!