Creative writing assignments as glyphs

After my students turned in their latest assignment — a creative piece on “place” — I asked them to represent the form of their writing through a few wordless chalk marks on the board. They also summarized the main themes of content and form in a couple of sentences. This was improvised work: no preparation, go to the board and write.

The diversity of their subjects (what is “place”?) and the divergent ways in which they chose to represent the flow of their writing is intriguing and encouraging. I’m very pleased when I see a set of assignments that have emerged from the particularity of the students’ experiences, rather than from a template. Bring on the grading!

Click on any thumbnail image to scroll through examples of their work.

5 thoughts on “Creative writing assignments as glyphs

    1. David George Haskell Post author

      Ha! We lost the battle over blackboards in all the science buildings. Administration and architects absolutely would not allow anything other than whiteboards. Welcome to the age of disposable plastic crap. But the Mathematics Dept were allowed to retain chalk, mostly thanks (as I heard it) to the vigorous lobbying of one faculty member and, perhaps, to the fact that the two administrators at the Univ were at that time in that department. I’m teaching in one of their seminar rooms this semester. Very lucky. Plastic markers are awful. Hoping that when the whiteboards are useless (only another few years of life left in them…) we can go back to CaCO3.

  1. Pat Tratebas

    interesting. i was surprised there were not more diagrams or drawings…thinking spatially…maybe next time do this and ask no words only scribbles, maps, structural diagrams or symbols…


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