In February, the Bucket Courses will offer a 3-week series of classes taught by Dan Weeks and entitled “Memory and Self-Discovery.” The course will take place from 10:00 to 11:30 am on three consecutive Wednesdays, Feb 21, and 28, in the Caulkins Community Room of Drake Community Library.
The Bucket Courses are free and open to all. Donations are welcome to cover costs of refreshments.
Weeks, a retired book and magazine writer and editor will focus on how exploratory writing helps us explain memories: “Exploratory writing can start with a memory of an experience, person, thing, event, or image. Describing the memory and how we experienced it in detail, we learn something new or reclaim something forgotten. That can be surprising, exhilarating, and gratifying.”
During each of the three class sessions, the instructor will read aloud from one of his personal essays spawned by a memory—in each case, as it happens, of an event that occurred in Grinnell. The class will discuss: Why is the memory memorable? What questions does it raise? How does the essay engage with them? Are these questions answered? Does the meaning of the memory change as a result? What did the author learn? What remains unknown? What insights, if any, does the essay offer readers about their own lives?
Class participants are encouraged (but not required) to write and offer to share their own essays for similar discussion in the other sessions. They’ll email these writings to the instructor in advance of each session; the instructor will choose which to present (with the writers’ consent) to the class, seeking to share writings of a variety of memories and writing styles.
Dan Weeks has a BA from Grinnell College and an MA in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. He has written and edited magazines ranging from The Grinnell Magazine to Better Homes and Gardens publications along with more than a dozen books, including the Discovery Channel bestseller Deadliest Catch: Desperate Hours. He’s lectured and led workshops on writing and creativity at colleges, universities, and leadership training organizations nationwide. In retirement, he’s writing personal essays that explore the great deal of his own experience that he doesn’t quite understand. These essays include What I Learned at the White Horse Ranch in Grinnell College’s Journal ROOTSTALK. In 2015, he presented the four-part Bucket Course Creativity: a Life-Long Journey.
Bucket Courses are sponsored by Grinnell’s Community Education Cooperative whose members include UnityPoint Health Grinnell, Grinnell College, Drake Community Library, Grinnell-Newburg Community School District, Grinnell Area Arts Council, Mayflower Community, Grinnell Education Partnership, Read to Lead, and Iowa Valley Community College. Videos of previous Bucket Courses are available on the YouTube channel Grinnell Community Education Cooperative.
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