Sunday, July 17, 2011

“Words and ideas can change the world.”

Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society
Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society: Source

"Keep ripping gentlemen! This is a battle—a war—and the casualties could be your hearts and souls." 

Now my class you will learn to think for yourselves again.  You will learn to savor words and language.

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” – Dead Poets Society

I have been asked to teach a writing/journalism workshop during Youth Conference this week.  I am thinking about starting out by playing a clip from Dead Poets Society (although it's kind of difficult to find one that's FTSOY* approved, so I'll probably just use the quote above and throw a picture up on the screen to make my point.)

Anyway, I feel a little bit like Professor Keating did in the movie trying to teach young students to love poetry.  How do I teach something that feels like nothing less than an outcropping of my own soul? Nevertheless, I will make an attempt.  There might be some page-ripping though. There's no telling what will happen during our class on Friday, but I am looking forward to it, because I love spending time with youth and I am sure we'll draw inspiration from each other.

So! Do you have any burning questions for me about writing/journalism/my experiences that you'd love to have answered?  It would help me to have your queries as a jumping-off point, since I won't be able to poll the students before Friday. Thank you!


  1. How do you spill your guts about something without it appearing like you are spilling your guts? Or demanding sympathy...altho we always seem to garner sympathy in support of our least as far as blogging goes.

  2. I Know you will do great, you are such a great example to the youth.
    I liked how when you spoke to us at the RS night that time. How you tied your blog and writing into your goals in life. and how Writing was great therapy to you and strengthened your testimony.
    With so much technology out there pulling the youth in different directions and sometimes making them not think for themselves. I think it would be great to have them write there own feelings and thoughts down for future generations in their own words and not By googling etc ( make sense). Sometimes those experiences of just expressing yourself through your own written word can sometimes be passed by in the world today.
    Thank you for your willingness to help and serve the youth the need wonderful role models like you to look up-to I know the spirit will guide you to say the exact right things that they need to hear.Your Amazing!

  3. Maybe talk about ethics and responsibility in journalism...especially with all the controversy now.

  4. How do you keep writing? I always feel like it takes so much of me out of myself that I need to rejuvenate that part of my soul before I attempt to write again? It's the same for poetry, blog posts, journaling, scrapbooking, all of it. I wrote for the local paper a couple of years ago and it happened then, too. I also have always had a problem with thinking my writing was worth reading by someone else. I've seen that a lot with different aged individuals. I know if I'm wondering these things, someone else is, too.

    Good luck.


  5. Don't have any ideas or questions, but wanna say that I know you'll do great and wish I could be there to hear it. :)

  6. My kids have always enjoyed going back to their journals when they were young and read them. Many times they just drew silly cartoon faces and made lists of things, but they do have fun reading them. I used to have them write every Sunday. Writing prompts help.

  7. I do!! how do you get people to open up to a complete stranger?

  8. and I love that movie. I had a high school English professor who made me feel like I was part of a similar experience. It was wonderful.

  9. How do you become clear in your writing? I think that is very difficult especially when you are the one writing and have the internal dialogue going filling in the gaps thinking it is PERFECTLY clear but some important detail is left out.

    Also how can you write personally? In my profession everything is to be written very straight forward in third person without a bias. Observation may be written in a suspecting but not "this is how it is" language. The jump is difficult.

    How do you let your personality come through without leaving you feeling naked?

  10. You will do a wonderful job. Wish I could be a fly on the wall.


    PS. A question I get asked most by kids is "How do you get brave enough to put your writing out to the public? How do you deal with rejection?"

  11. I am sure you will give a wonderfu message. I guess I would just say to stay with prayer and the spirit and you will do exactly what is needed in your presentation.
    Blessing to you!
    Living Waters by LeAnn
    Google comments not working!

  12.  You open up first.  That opens the door for them to open up.

  13.  do you know about  It's free and safe.  They have writing prompts.  If you're good with computers, they have on digital scrapbooking places. You can put the poetry in any of those places too.  Blogs can become a place for everything.  Simplify!