Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Class in Leipzig

Today I walked to the university, thereby avoiding the whole Tram Question, and met for the first time with my class in Writing SF and Fantasy. This is a smaller, more informal class, and most of the students are a bit older. We started by looking at various elements of any story (character, conflict, etc.) and then focused on dialogue. A student, Raik, and I read aloud the two parts of Terry Bisson's popular, all-dialogue story "They're Made Out Of Meat." We talked about what makes dialogue effective, and I assigned them to write one-or-two pages in dialogue -- and only in dialogue -- that characterizes two speakers, due next week. Since we'd also discussed the differences between the traditional plotted story and the contemporary literary story, I assigned them an example of each to read before the next class: Robert Sheckley's "Street of Dreams, Feet of Clay" and Lewis Shiner's "The War At Home." I'll be really interested to hear their reactions to both.

My guardian angel, Sebastian Herrmann, took me to the university library to get a library card. However, the proper bureaucratic forms were not yet signed and delivered, so this project has to wait until tomorrow. The library's books in English, Sebastian told me, were donated by American colleges after the GDR was ousted from the former East Germany and the Berlin Wall came down. It looks like a good collection.

Although today (unlike yesterday) I had worn sensible shoes, my feet hurt by the time I walked home. I'm simply not used to walking four or five miles every day. I tell myself this is very good for me. Toughen those soles!

1 comment:

bluesman miike Lindner said...

That's the spirit, Nancy! When the road seems long, remind yourself,
"I am the but the latest of American Pioneer Women. Those bold women walked from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean with their men and their babies.

Dare I do less?"