It’s a pity that with all the last health events and the surgery to my shoulder, I let some happy events go without finding the time to share them. I want to tell you about this one, though, which fills me with proud and enthusiasm.
You might know I made a point a while ago to attend at least one event, course, conference, or workshop per year, related to my profession or passions. The online course of the University of Cambridge, Creative writing: an introduction to life writing, was the one I chose for this year (I have another one in mind, for November, but I am still deciding…). Writing is a big passion of mine, and thanks to Expatclic, I have the privilege to get in touch with a lot of wonderful and interesting persons, and to mold their stories into articles to share with the public. I never had any formal training in writing, and never considered myself so good or interesting as to take one. But as time goes by, I care less about fitting into patterns and more about enjoying life. Cambridge can actually sound a bit out of range for me, but I loved the content of the course, and I love challenges, so I decided to give it a go.
Unfortunately when I enrolled, I did not know I had a surgery to face, nor a two-weeks long trip to Italy (thanks to which, though, I was able to watch the video tutorials of the course, that for some incomprehensible reason are blocked in Indonesia). All this contributed to slow my rhythm down and to disrupt my participation. However, it was an overall amazing experience, and I passed the course with excellent results!
My tutor was amazing, present, competent, encouraging yet critical, and the material she chose for the course was absolutely stimulating. I am sure you know that feeling of finding yourself in the right place to feed and share your passion: it encompasses you, shakes you and fills you with barely controlled joy and energy. I felt this way all through the course. The assignments were fun and light: “talk about a pair of shoes”, “describe your worst night’s sleep” or “talk about your favorite place” were just few of them.
It was, obviously, challenging for a non native English person: most of my course mates had English as their mother tongue, and they all had extensive experience in writing and a strong mastering of discussing literature. I was not always sure to grasp the right concept and at times I felt I lacked the proper richness of terms to express myself fully. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and learned some useful techniques to put together a good piece of life writing (and discovered some interesting titles!).
I was moved when I was told that I was eligible to receive the certificate of participation, and proud of my tutor’s final comment:
I’m sorry this course has coincided with some difficult events in your life. I’m also sorry that you weren’t always able to access all the materials. Nevertheless, I have been impressed but what you have managed to produce. One of your earliest pieces, about your mother’s shoes, shows what can be achieved when you have the urge to write. By contrast, your pieces about Brazzaville and Sudan were much more dramatic and tense. You should feel pleased that you have this range of tone. Adding details to both pieces will help to bring them alive without diluting the tension.
I admire your efforts to catch up when events conspired against you and I enjoyed your piece about your family’s holiday home. I thought your final piece was extremely vivid and moving“
And now I say goodbye because I have to start my memoir 🙂