Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Community LiLa Style

Butterflies fluttered in my stomach as we approached the classroom. I half-expected to see thirty nervous-looking 6th grade faces staring up at us as we walked through the door, but instead saw a group of adults huddled over blank sheets of paper, pens poised, eager, ready. It's the first day night of school, but the curriculum has changed and so have the students. It's Novel Writing 101 and instead of textbooks we're using our (random) publishing experience.

Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

Class #1 of our gig at the community center was last night. After introducing ourselves and sharing where we were at in the publishing process, we heard from eight writers all with the same goal: to write a novel. We offered up a general overview of plotting, character building, dialogue and conflict, point of view, voice, joining a writing community and querying.

We could have talked all night.

And to our surprise, our new friends would have listened! We went in last night thinking we'd host one class, we walked out with five more on the calendar. Boot up those computers class because there's homework due Monday.

And for the record, we might not be as funny as Joel McHale, but our students are WAY cooler than the ones on Community. Something tells me we're going to learn as much from them as they'll (hopefully) learn from us.
P.S.: Don't forget to enter our Epic 500 Follower Contest; the last day is today. Tune in tomorrow for the BIG show!

59 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Congrats on surviving your first class! Here's to many more . . . including the LA SCBWI conference one day. ;) (and I'll be there, eager to suck up your wisdom).

Cheree said...

Wow, first class, you must be exhausted. And who wouldn't want to soak up your awesomness? You two have so much knowledge that anyone would want to hear.

Amie McCracken said...

I want to be there! You should do one online so I can take it. (Although it's always nice in person.)

Christine Danek said...

I want to be in your class. You guys are the coolest.

Liza said...

Wish I lived in Cleveland.

Matthew Rush said...

I've never seen community, but I don't watch much TV so that's not saying much.

Props to you two for teaching this kind of class, that's really awesome that your students are appreciating it.

Alissa said...

I'm sure you are great teachers, entertaining and enlightening. Have fun with your teaching gig.

Rachele Alpine said...

Awww....sounds like a great class! I'm glad it went well!

Christine Fonseca said...

HA! So cool!!!

Sheri Larsenッ said...

Awesome, girls!! Good things come to those who give back. Proud of you. ";-) (I'm not in your position...yet, but I have been asked to share my experience and speak to a group of 5th graders. I'll have to ask you both for advice. I'm terrified.)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Congrats on the first class.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Coolness! Hope you didn't give then to much homework ;)

Kim said...

That's awesome! I didn't realize it was only supposed to be a one time class. I thought it met for a few weeks.

Hey, where's the vlog?!?!?

Katie said...

Let me just say that this class of yours sounds so friggin' cool that I WISH I could come :) I know your students are loving it!

Candyland said...

I wish you'd host a class on this side of Ohio:(

Katie said...

I just quoted you on my blog :)

confused homemaker said...

Yea for your 1st class!! It's fun to have an involved & interested class, I love when I have that :) And I love the show Community!

Talli Roland said...

Congrats on getting through the first one - that's great! :)

Sara McClung ♥ said...

That is SO cool!!

Tamika: said...

Amazing! If I've lived closer I would love to join your class.

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

You two define AWESOME!


Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Christina Lee said...

So glad it went well for you! And you're teaching MORE--go you!

Natalie said...

That is so cool! What a fun way to give back.

Melissa said...

Woo hoo! This sounds SO exciting!

PS - Have you read "The Writing Class," by Jincy Willet? I just hope YOUR class doesn't end up the same way. ;-)

Lisa Desrochers said...

Glad it went so well! You two are a runaway sensation! =)

JEM said...

Congrats on the gig, glad it went well! Although I have to be honest, Community is one of my favorite shows on TV right now, you'd be hard pressed to find a more hilarious personality than Abed...

Stephanie Thornton said...

Congrats on making it through your first class- it sounds like it was a wild success!

I'm impressed there's a novel writing class- there's nothing like that where I live. Super lucky students you have!

Hmmm... That last sentence sounded awfully Yoda-ish.

Pam Harris said...

Aw man! Wish I could've been there. :(

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I knew you'd rock their socks, but it's nice to hear that you're getting something good from it, too!

storyqueen said...

This is an awesome idea and I'm glad it went so well.

Writers who give back are the BEST.

Shelley

Gail said...

How could your class be anything but wonderful! You 2 are hilarious and as a 30 year teacher, I can tell you that humor is the key to a great connection between teacher and student!

The first day/night is ALWAYS the toughest- jitters, uncertainty, and relief when it's over. Next class will go even better.

Hey girls....have you ever read the picture book *First Day Jitters*? Try it, it's wonderful. I used to read it on the first day of school to my class to show them we all get jitters, then have them write a paragraph telling me what they THOUGHT the first day would be like and the reality of the first day. Sigh...sometimes I miss teaching...

Krispy said...

I'd so be in that class if it were going on anywhere remotely near me. :) Glad it went well! Teaching can be nerve-wracking.

Btw, Dreaming Anastasia arrived last week! YAY! Thanks again!!!

Laura Marcella said...

Congrats on making it through your first class and for booking more! I bet you're awesome teachers!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

You guys rock! I would give anything to be in your class - seriously! :-)

Cynthia Watson said...

You all look like the Scooby gang from Buffy!

Cool!

Cynthia Watson said...

The guy in the front can be Giles!

Erica Chapman said...

You guys are so brave! I'm so glad it went well. I wish I lived in the area *sad face* Oh come on, I think you guys to take Ole Joel ;o) Can't wait to hear about the next one!

casiecook said...

That's awesome! Congratulations on a successful first night of school! I wish I could be in the class...

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

That is soooooooo cool. You guys must be the funnest teachers ever. But...um...where's the picture of what you guys wore? I want to see if you rocked the sexy librarian look :)

Sara B. Larson said...

That would be an awesome class to be a part of! I'm sure you were both amazing; funny, brilliant, ya know. ;-) Way to go on signing up more classes!

Marsha Sigman said...

I never doubted that you guys would totally rock at teaching a writing class!!! Congrats...but homework, seriously?lol

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Wow - congrats on the successful class! It's not a surprise though, you two are so... entertaining. :) And clever, and funny, and filled to the brim with useful/ironic/hilarious tidbits about the writing and publishing businesses.
Am I the only one who thinks it's awesome that you gave out homework? Maybe it's the fact that I'm taking a gap year before college, or that I was always the kid who wrote essays in her spare time, but hey. :)
Anyway, congratulations again!

Carolyn V. said...

Woo hoo! Good job on the class guys (I want to be one of your students)! You guys are awesome, I'm sure it was the best class ever. =) Those lucky students.

Elana Johnson said...

I'm so glad it went well. And I love that show, Community. I've only seen it a couple of times, and I know the LiLa show would kick A--!

Yay you guys!

Icy Roses said...

I really enjoyed my creative writing class at my community college last summer, but I bet it would've been 1000000000000x better if you guys were my teachers!

Also, I fucking adore Community. Especially Abed.

Mariah Irvin said...

Congrats on your first class! Keep us updated on what you're teaching... I'd love to hear more!

Loretta Nyhan said...

You guys are naturals! I'm sure your students love you.

I wish I could sign up!

Jen said...

Ya for surviving your first class! I know I would have been able to listen to you guys all night!!! I am bummed I don't live closer!!!

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm so not surprised you and your class had a great time! I knew it would be awesome :) congrats!!

Ann Marie Wraight said...

Are you 2 Ladies having us on...?

You don't look old enough to drive a car...Teachers???

NO WAY!!

Corey Schwartz said...

Are you kidding me? You ladies don't have enough to do with writing, blogging, parenting and hosting a teen book club?

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Sounds like a great experience! Best of luck with the next five classes :)

Little Ms J said...

I think I need you to wear cardigans when you teach. Please get some reading glasses on a chain or start wearing Crocs and send me pictures. This would make me very very happy.

Very.

Lydia Kang said...

Good for you for sharing your experiences with your local writing community! I wish I had had the same when I started!

jessjordan said...

I'm super jealous of everyone in that class. I eat that kind of stuff up like candy.

Glad to hear it went so well!

sanjeet said...

Congrats on your first class! Keep us updated on what you're teaching... I'd love to hear more!
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Stella (Ex Libris) said...

Hi Lisa&Laura, just wanted to let you know that you have an award waiting for you here.

Stella

Lori W. said...

Teacher High is almost as good as Writing High. Glad you had a great class! Remember your delight when you're grading the homework. :)

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

So glad that the class went well!

When Don Glover (Troy on Community) opened up his Twitter account, he had no capital letters or spaces in his name.... So his name was 'donglover'.... It made me laugh every time!