Wendy's Writing Project Blog

12 of 33 July 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — uiwpwendy @ 4:26 am

How is it I have started so many posts (33 to be exact), but have published so few? It still involves taking a big risk to push that “publish” button. So much effort has been put into trying to get me to see myself as a writer. After four intense weeks, I know I’m suppose to say I’m a writer. I believe it is what my audience wants to hear. I truly believe that my kids are writers. Yet, if I go by my own definition, I’ll never be a writer. That would be an insult to the profession! However, I am a communicator of ideas.  If we stick to Merriam-Webster’s definition of “one that writes”; then, yes, I am a writer.

Past practice indicates that the blog stops here. My final project, an e-portfolio, is turned in. When I look back at blogs from past Summer Institutes, few have continued the practice. I wonder why? Do they consider themselves to be writers? I have good intentions to continue to write. I certainly have enough ideas to work on. Who knows? Maybe I’ll whittle away some of the 21 that remain unpublished.


While I Was Walking July 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — uiwpwendy @ 9:33 pm

The UIWP Leadership Team provided another wonderful activity this morning.  We went on a writing marathon.  In groups of four, we went out to explore various settings around campus.  Every thirty minutes or so, we would stop, write and share what we had written.  Here is what I had written along the way (in edited order):

(Second Stop:  Beckman’s garden)

I never had any interest in walking around the U of I campus.  When the idea of a writing marathon was mentioned, I was excited about the prospects of traveling to different areas to just write.  Before listening to the details, I started mapping out the places I wanted to go, turning it into a 120 mile, two day trip.  I wanted to visit places familiar—schools, church, grandma’s house, my hometown, my own university.  I felt deflated when I heard that:  1. We would be walking, and 2. We would stay on campus.  I was, once again, being asked to step outside my comfort zone.

I never envisioned the world I have already seen in this short hour I have spent walking and writing.  Taking in the old and the new buildings… all grand in their own right.  I saw beauty in the Boneyard of all things. I have dismissed a whole world.  What a waste.

(First stop:  Union fountain)

The weathervane is pointing east.  Does it always point east?  Is the wind even coming from the west today?  As I watch the crowds go by, some are going north, some are going south.  Freshman orientation.  I’m guessing they are anxious about being here today, touring the campus, preparing their minds for a major life change.  I’m guessing many feel certain of their course, while a few may are wondering if they are going in the right direction.

(and Third– read next entry)


A Finale From the Boneyard

Filed under: Uncategorized — uiwpwendy @ 9:12 pm

While participating in a writing marathon this morning, I was taken back by the beauty of the Boneyard Creek from the U of I campus.  Who knew?  The sunlight reflecting off the swooping bugs provided a very appropriate holiday tribute.  Who said you couldn’t see fireworks in the middle of the day?


Last night’s story July 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — uiwpwendy @ 3:18 pm

The Mugdock pipers always begin their rehearsals on the practice chanter.  The practice chanter resembles a recorder, but has the same nine notes and fingerings as the bagpipe itself.  It is quieter and takes less air, making focusing on embellishments and learning tunes more manageable.  Between every couple of tunes, stories are told so that our lips can take respite.  The group was having a discussion of how, when you are playing in a band, you never get to hear the sound of the collaborative effort.

Last night, Mr. Lynch, our 94-year-old pipe major shared a story of when his band marched in a parade.  “I wasn’t able to play that day because I had a sore throat,” he reminisced.  “So I went uptown to stand on a street corner to wait for the band to come along.  Everyone was standing around, talking.  They were having a good ol’ time.  Then, from off in the distance, you could begin to hear a hum.  I looked down the street and saw the pipers.”  Cupping his hands around his head, he added, “Then crowd fell completely silent.  They were entranced.  The sound had captured all of their being.”  As I watched, his eyes twinkled at the memory and he let out a bewildered chuckle, “It was amazing to watch how affected they were by the sound.  It sent chills down my spine.”

In telling his story, Mr. Lynch reminded me of why I play the pipes.  To me, the distinctive sound reverberates deep down into my soul. It captivates me and stirs my deepest emotions.  The thought of, one day, having that power to affect others in such a way is gratifying.