While I was completing my Bachelor of Arts degree at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, I volunteered in various capacities at the university. However, my most notable experience by far was the time I spent as a Creative Writing Teaching Assistant (TA).
As a TA, my responsibilities included leading workshops and teaching mini-lessons, which would be reinforced with activities that I would assign. For part of my time as a TA, I taught a short stories unit and a poetry unit and I included some samples of student work below.
The first sample is from the opening sequence written by a first-year creative writing student.
They were hideous. The most gruesome creatures she had ever seen. Their little bodies were gnarled and deformed. Their skin almost greenish in colour.
They were perfect.
“Miss Devereaux, have you found what you’re looking for?”
“Huh? Oh…yes. Yes, I have,” said Natasha Devereaux, still unable to look away from the painting of the perfectly misshapen creatures.
“Do you know who painted this? I’m not familiar with the signature.” Natasha pointed out the small initials at the corner of the painting: N.S.
The saleslady looked momentarily perplexed, as if she couldn’t imagine anyone would even ask after the painting.
The second piece of writing are the opening stanzas of a “Fact About My Friend” mirror poem written by another student in first-year creative writing.
She’s five foot five.
She has brown eyes
and the mind of a scholar.
You’ll find her, with her face obscured
by a book.
When I first met her in the third grade,
I saw a small girl with a smile
that didn’t quite reach her eyes.