Duke Writing: One’s Handiwork in View


The summer that I was seven years old, my mother hung new curtains on our kitchen window.  Its position captured the morning and afternoon light, as well as a clear view of an empty field behind our home.  I spent hours looking through this window, imagining games that newly found friends would play with me.  the new curtains, hung to soften the light and to provide privacy, would now impede my view.  these daydreams occupied the loneliness I felt in a new community.  Within days of hanging, my mother discovered a finely crafted letter “L” prominently placed in the middle panel of curtain.  there was no doubt in the minds of either parent that this was indeed my handiwork.  the scenario that followed was certainly not one of my finest moments. cornered, at the hand a of a disappointed father and a livid mothers, I fabricated a tale in which I implicated both my brother, age five and my sister, age three.  The storyteller in me was squelched as the axiom, “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” pervaded my home.  The writer in me discovered the sheer joy in seeing one’s handiwork in view!

I am a writer…with a garrison of pens, pencils, markers, crayons & colored pencils.

I am a writer…with a collection of anecdotes, phrases and quotes for “someday.”

I am a writer…who consumes words, extending ideas to the margins of books & journals.

I am a writer…who considers the invention of the sticky note one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century.

I am a writer…who enlivens the bare surface  of a board with the glide of a colored marker.

I am a writer...whose digital world is an adventure through emails, text messaging, tweets & blog commenting. 

I am a writer.

Newly Sharpened PencilsTask:  Compose an essay (~300 words) about yourself as a writer.


2 thoughts on “Duke Writing: One’s Handiwork in View

    1. Thanks, Willa! This will certainly be an interesting class. I need to be pushed to write more and wanted to see how someone else would teach this material to first year students. It was good for me to have a 300 word limit as I can become winded without constraints! One of the members of my quadblogging group is a professor who has heard many positive things about the prof. She says that the pedagogy is spot on, so I am encouraged. It’s very different from our MOOC, which is okay. I would imagine that life would get boring if they were all the same, yes?


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