This process commenced with the 'Making Waves' topic in late March. Six 'Making Waves' stories, with a comment or two on each, are now generally available on the website. I really enjoyed reading these stories - an underlying theme was the anxiety involved and resilience required to 'make waves' and the reinforcement of personal integrity which can result.
Making comments in writing proved an interesting if tricky experience. How did you find it?
Writing in terms of the following responses may make commenting less confronting. Remember, your comment doesn't need to be long. A sentence or two is fine!
- Did you relate to the story? Did you empathise with the writer?
- Did the story trigger memories for you? Perhaps with an example or two.
- How did you react to the story? How did it make you feel?
The comments made on the Making Waves stories seem to fit these 'gentle guidelines'...for example
1. Did you relate to the story, empathise with the writer?
"I can relate to that. You were a woman with initiative."
"Well done. I have always impressed upon junior staff that your integrity is everything. If you compromise your integrity, you also compromise your credibility."
2. Did the story trigger memories for you, reflections on the past? For example?
... "Your story brought back memories to me of people I knew who had polio as children, of receiving the Salk vaccine on a little block of sugar, and more."
"An interesting subject. My oldest daughter attended a high school where wearing a uniform was optional (1978 onwards). She chose not to wear it. My youngest daughter attended a prestigious high school where no girl would dare disobey the school rules on uniforms. Both girls are successful in their careers and are among the important 'behind the scenes' workers in the management of COVID-19."
3. How did you react to the story? How did it make you feel?
"What an amazing story of perseverence; of acting with authenticity based on deeply held values; of continuing and skilful efforts to work towards justice. .."
"Another wonderful poem, one which creatively explores an issue you are passionate about. It also conveys a sense of the emotions attached to 'Making Waves'. It can be unsettling 'letting go' to express ideas we are passionate about which make waves..."
"This must have been like an undercurrent impacting upon you fairly constantly requiring resilience, with the occasional big wave when the issue would surface yet again requiring strength and determination to overcome..."
Hope this helps! Don't feel that you need to comment on everyone's story - or that you need to comment at all if you find this doesn't come easily to you.
Here again are the April topics just in case you need to have them at hand:
- The first topic, suggested by Barry O'Connor as our class follows two days later, is 'Anzac Day'. A chance to reminisce about memories of Anzac Day (or Days) which have stayed with us over time.
- The second topic is inspired by this month's story by Margaret Nelson's story 'Do you remember the polio epidemic' (see below). Has the current COVID-19 ‘Pandemic’ triggered memories for you relating to infectious diseases, whether local, epidemic or pandemic?
- The third topic, as set on our list of topics for the first four months, is 'Winging It' or 'Taking the Plunge' - Do you have a story about taking a risk and winging it?
The topic for May is 'Turning Point' - an example from Life Matters '500 words' ...Leaving London on the Brink of War If the topic 'Turning Point' doesn't suit you, catchup on an earlier topic; draw from your 'Ideas Piggy Bank' or little book of 'triggers'....(choose two elements from either of these sources and write a story of about, each of 250 words or so on each) or write on a universal topic such as 'The year that made me'; 'New in Town'; or 'Someone who Shaped me'.
Please give me a call on 5762 8171 or 0478 607 838 if you have any questions,