In case you didn’t know, MIT offers many FREE courses online. You can view the syllabus, readings, and assignments for FREE. Amazing resource. Oh and did I mention that it’s free?
Well, being the autodidact that I am, I decided that I will do something productive this summer besides work. Even though I still feel a bit burnt out from school, I’ve never stopped loving to learn learn. I stumbled across MITs open course website and was ecstatic to find a science writing class. I am determined to do the class readings and complete the writing assignments. I will post said assignments here for your reading pleasure. If you think this is as amazing as I do, please check out the website and enjoy some free learning: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
Here is the first assignment description, followed by my draft:
WRITE a letter to me introducing yourself to me as a writer: What’s your relationship to writing? What are your hopes (and fears?) for this class? What happened with you and writing in high school, or elsewhere? Anything else about you & writing you want to tell me? –e.g., is English your second language, writing you’ve done on your own, what you like to read . . .
I have been a writer since I could pick up a pencil. Writing is a part of who I am. My favorite computer “game” growing up was Storybook Weaver; a program where you could write a book on the computer and create a digital picture to go along with each page. I was obsessed with this game. In school, writing was my favorite part of the day. Creating stories about animals was my favorite plot to write about.
Consequently, I’ve also written in a journal since age of 5. I’ve kept every single notebook I’ve filled over the years. My writing went from scribbled notes of observations around my neighborhood and school, to my first crush, first kiss, the apprehension of going to college, and entering the adult world. My journals also contain recollections of strange dreams, story ideas, and poetry.
I guess I enjoy writing so much because it is easier for me to communicate with others this way. When I speak, I am constantly judging myself for the things I say and what I sound like. I hate small talk and meaningless conversation. Additionally, I am introverted and prefer observing others and listening to conversations rather than being at the center of attention. When I write, I feel free to express myself without being judged. I am able to take time to think before I put pencil to paper and know that I can always erase something. When I talk I also like to take a few moments to think of what I’m going to say, but I live in a society where conversation happens rapidly and with my soft voice, I am often unable to get a word in unless I’m talking one on one with someone. I guess I have a touch of social anxiety because I can never think of the right thing to say for fear of rejection, whereas on paper I can pour my heart out.
While I was in college, I had a professor that helped me further open up through writing. I was in an essay class, and some of the assignments required personal reflection. Before that, I tried keeping myself out of my writing and preferred to make up characters with personalities akin to my own. My professor encouraged me to look inwards and not be afraid to show myself, even my flaws. I realized through this class that honestly talking about my upsets and mistakes made me more relateable to my readers. I won several essay contests and had some of my class essays published in my college’s writing publication. These achievements validated that I have talent and motivated me to keep improving.
Even though I’ve always had a passion for writing, I’ve lacked the confidence to pursue a career as a writer. Instead, I decided to study biology in college. While I love science, I discovered that I am not destined for a career working in a laboratory. After much reflection and encouragement from my accomplishments in college, I accepted that I needed to stop denying my passion for writing and find a way to make a career out of it. Taking this online MIT class and maintaining four blogs are my starting steps.
I don’t know how far I’ll go with my writing. All I know is that writing is my passion, my therapy, my talent, my savior. I can’t stop and won’t stop writing.