I really struggled with the informal essay. I chose Dickens to research. He was very interesting in his take on building a platform as a writer. I procrastinated writing the research paper so much that I did not turn it in for the first deadline. I was not afraid of the feedback from other members of our writing group. I feared my own inability to write formally, even though I had many formal papers through graduate school. I think my hesitation was because I am a creative writer and it comes so naturally to me. If the assignment was write an essay I would have been fine. It was the formal “follow the guidelines” approach.  Anyway, I made myself write the informal essay as my son painted. I literally gave myself no flexibility in getting out of the chair -- I had to write the essay or else. I did give myself a reward if I finished (go to the pool with my son).

This experience made me realize how my special education students must feel when teachers are hounding them to turn in assignments and they simply do not do it. They most likely are not turning them in because of fear or no knowing how to get started because they are so overwhelmed.

I ended up getting 29 out of 30 points on the assignments and Ruie made some great comments on it.  Fear is powerful, but done is better than perfect.


This was my strength because I am a poet.  I enjoyed these writing assignments and for each class assignment I wrote two or three more poems.  I think I could compose a book of poems about my experience at the University of Surrey.  


Poetry comes in many forms

Sometimes its a comment that you can taste on your lips as you long for London

Sometimes its the scent of a breeze

Sometimes its the white garden when you meet the handsome head gardener with your best mate at Losely

Getting lost in an English garden, my metaphor of hope and reason

Not caring if you are last on the bus because beauty moves you with powerful force, like the great gong at the Royal Albert Hall, listening to Proms parade purity in sight and sound

Like the tears that streamed from my eyes at Westminster in our seats as good as the Queen’s

Poetry is when your heart opens. Travel is the door and the key.


I wrote in journal a lot during this trip.  I actually will write more when I get home.  I have started many essays that started as seeds in my journal.  But the journal I am talking about is my UK Journal (The Original Journal Project). I lean towards expressive writing peppered with poetic writing.  I really enjoyed all the writing in this class. What a great experience.  I will write an essay when I get home after this experience ferments. Like a proper ale, an experience needs time to age and develop taste.  I will send it to you.