My poor writing skills really influenced my decision to enroll in the Food and Travel Writing Seminar, and I am very glad I ended up taking and enjoying the class. I started off on a rough patch for the first few weeks. Trouble lingered around when I wrote my memoir. I wanted to write about my disease because I thought it would offer some kind of catharsis. However, the process of writing my memoir piece presented much difficulty. It ended up more like throw-up all over a blank canvass.
This leads to one of my first difficulties/frustrations, the lack of focus in my writing pieces. I often have so much to say, and then go into very little detail. What is left is a vague skeleton of what happened, making it incomprehensible for readers. To battle this ambiguity, I found the workshops very helpful. Classmates provided pertinent feedback that gave me guidance on elaboration of details within my writing pieces. Otherwise, my mind would fill in the blanks within each essay. Having classmates evaluate my work and leave comments gave a new perspective that could not fill in missing information. The feedback of other students in the Food and Travel Seminar really helped me provide clarity for my work.
The most important idea I learned from this class is to find your voice. I have often relied on a formal tone to rely my ideas on paper. By taking this course, I found that having voice is important. It encouraged me when my voice was well received. I first started integrating my voice in our restaurant review (Rasa Ria). I incorporated small jokes. Yet upon reading them, I worried it was too corny or informal. It surprised me that students in class actually laughed at the jokes. Buzzing on confidence, I went full out on “My Perfect Meal” assignment, and the results were positive. I realize that not every opportunity allows for so much personality, but I will definitely feel more comfortable with voice in writing.
This seminar “Food and Travel,” really helped improve my writing skills, and it did so much more. I enjoyed our discussions, debates, and readings. This course was absolutely stellar. I think the chemistry with the group along with the oversight of Marin, our professor, really created one of the best classes I have ever taken. The enjoyment I felt toward the class made learning fun and enjoyable, I couldn’t have asked for a more ideal situation.