Seminar By The Sea: A reflection about the summer course and poetical growth.

       I have always been fascinated by the concept of stringing words together to make meaning. It is something that not only touches others, but a place deep within oneself because you can look back and say “I crafted this with my own hands, mind, spirit, and soul”. As a poet, that is the feeling that I am always striving to achieve. I am always trying to desperately grasp meaning with the tip of my pen, to articulate thoughts and feelings that are so powerful that you almost cannot put them into words. I have always felt this way about writing. It is something that brings me peace, yet keeps me restless. In one of my classes called Seminar By The Sea, I was truly able to reflect on the power of words and their ability to create meaning.

      I remember when I first tried to string meaning through a collection of poems for Seminar By The Sea, a gender studies course that took place in Oceanwood, Maine. It is a class that I highly recommend. In this course, you get to choose between an English or Psychology credit. Not only that, but you get to spend several weeks in a small beach town in Maine. Another benefit is having the opportunity to work closely with your peers and professors. This class is offered every other summer, and will be available to take in the summer of 2019. Although I learned about a lot of topics from multiple faculty members such as Dr. Landi Turner and Alexis Dunbar, I especially learned a lot from Professor Gidjunis who helped me begin my journey of honing my poetry.

      This was the first class where I was pushed to achieve an overarching meaning in all of my poems. I wrote about the colonization of Hawaii and their last Queen, Liliʻuokalani. I learned about race, feminism, intersectionality, gender identity, as well as many other topics. I started to become more aware of how to incorporate experiences and weave identity into my poems as I partook in writing exercises. As I took on writing the collection, I started to challenge myself to write about the daily occurrences in my life and create deep meaning out of them.Taking Seminar By The Sea not only pushed me to learn concepts of craft, but it pushed me on a personal level— to see meaning in everyday life experiences that others may disregard.

      My experience at Seminar made me realize a personal truth about my own writing and where I would like it to go. Poetry is not just about rhyming lines together. It is not just about abstract ideas and concepts that seem to float above our heads. Sometimes poetry is about the mundane, the daily occurrences and the sights everyday when you wake up. Everyone can see the beauty in the things they cannot touch, but it is the beauty that is right at your fingertips that is the hardest to depict.

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