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June 23, 2012 / Angela Sylvia

MFA Semester 4 – Day 2

Thanks to the strangeness of a new place and the discomfort of dorm beds, this day started far earlier than it needed to. When the rest of the day caught up with me, I went to David Elliott’s seminar on humor for young people. David didn’t express a lot of personal confidence in this seminar, but it was quite good, trying to examine what exactly made certain children’s books funny. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t go over our own examples that we were supposed to bring in, especially since I struggled to find one I thought worked. But it did help me articulate some of the things that I do find funny, but couldn’t quite point out how. Simply, the humor comes out of the story itself, and it’s the use of language that makes something overall funny, even if there’s no punchline.

Later was a gathering of fourth semester students where it was explained to us how our graduating seminar (I have to figure out how to teach something to real actual people in 6 months) works. Some alumni were present to explain what they had done, and how the both came up with their topic and executed their seminar. It was good to get this early on, before the scheduled discussion with our mentors, and this seminar helped to give me some confidence about the ideas that I do have. I think the most challenging thing for me will be finding a way to make the seminar interactive so the people who do actually show up feel involved.

Later in the afternoon was the meeting with the large groups to figure out how each mentor wants their workshop run and also who goes when. I go dead last on the last day. Fun.

The dorm I’m in this year seems much more lively — people actually gather on the couches and talk, rather than lock themselves in their rooms! I missed the chit-chat tonight since I was out with friends and doing workshop work (I would have ditched ANYTHING else) but I hope they keep meeting up so I can join in. Last semester — last chance for new friends.

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