Dyslexic tales · Masters tales

Workshops and teaching

I took my first class. It was nerve racking. I mean I hadn’t slept the night before and I turned up early only to find that the door was locked. Now I know that Trinity St David is the smallest university, but this had been part of the old building. It is beautiful but I normally hang round the cafe, so it was all new. Luckily there were signs –  which I followed and at the top of an oak staircase, with a red patterned carpet, sat the door; ‘The Founders Library’.

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I have an image of libraries with books to the ceiling and wooden desks set into the walls with leather sofas where you can relax and read the works of literature. And I walked into the perfect example. It had enough history to be awe inspiring and yet small enough to feel cosy. I had in my hand the keys, with which I had been entrusted. I was glad I was early.

Anyhow the students arrived and their teachers and I got them working. I think they had fun and they were able to all write a story. Some even read them out. And the result was what the workshop was designed to do. In the room of fourteen I had fourteen different stories that had all started with the same idea.

But there is a big problem. I didn’t find it likable nor was I happy to do it. For the first time in about a year the dyslexia kicked in enough to make me feel as if I have it. I opened my mouth to say something and the wires shorted, different words came out and the meaning had to be explained. I had to say some numbers – it just wasn’t happening. In the end I slowed my speech so that I could keep everything in its place and it sounded (to my ears) as if I was trying to contend with a stutter.

Will I teach again? Yes, I think it is a part of writing to give workshops, but I don’t think it is the career choice for me. I will add it on as a separate extra, and I am sure with time my problems will diminish but I love to write, not teach it.

If you are wondering if the students enjoyed the experience, all I can go on is their reaction. They all said thank you and I was given a pen, chocolate and a book of short stories that had been published with the students work from their college. And they all took their stories away.

I think if I do teach it will be more as an informal workshop rather than traditional teaching. I just have to do it again, and again. Practice will help but I think I prefer to read in public and that is saying something. 🙂

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