Letter from Writing Camp (Video)

Writing camp is awesome!  We had orientation the first day.  The head teacher Mr. Humbert showed us a video.  It was about the thought process a writer goes through to make the first draft.  

After the video, Mr. Humbert told us that writers create their best work in isolation. So, most of the teachers and students don’t attend class or come to campus.  This is the Salinger courtyard and the Thoreau classroom.   

A building with glass walls.

In the mornings we study literary devices with Mr. Chekov in the Orwell building.

An old, rusted building

After lunch, we study one writer and their unique style in the White building. 

On Monday, Mr. Chekov taught us about irony.  We learned that irony is the opposite of what the reader expects.  For example, irony happens a lot in Oedipus Rex.  Like when Oedipus kills his father King Laius and marries his mother Jocasta.  Then, Oedipus divorces Jocasta and gets child support for himself using the pre-nup Jocasta made King Laius sign.

Franz Kafka

Mrs. Grubach taught us about about Franz Kafka Monday afternoon.

Mrs. Grubach said she will not take attendance and everybody will be marked absent.  She also told us that the final exam can happen at any time.  It will be on a topic only she knows.  Each exam is made just for that student and we’ll probably die before we get a chance to take the exam. “You will fail like a dog,” she said.  Her class was confusing. 

On Tuesday, we learned about similes and metaphors.   A metaphor is like an anorexic simile.  A simile is a metaphor that binge eats.  

Ernest Hemingway

I had marlin nuggets for lunch Tuesday.  I walked to the Ernest Hemingway class.

Mr. Santiago is the teacher.  He’s really nice.  He’s gone three days a week.  He taught us how to make clear, concise sentences.  The sentences must be objective.  Mr. Santiago’s class is harder than the Kafka class.  By the way, Dad.  Who is Joe DiMaggio?

On Wednesday Mr. Chekov taught us about foreshadowing.  Foreshadowing gives hints about what will happen later.

A vintage pistol on a wall.

Mr. Chekov said that if in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following act it should be fired.

James Joyce

In the afternoon we had a class about James Joyce.

 Mr. Dedalus taught us how to create really long, confusing words.  I got an A+ for ogazumuxinggaochaoreshtaljamaesambhogakarsareckhwamkhircuckhoai.

On Thursday we learned about symbolism.  Symbolism means things represent something beyond their literal meaning.  

A high tea buffet

For example, Mr. Chekov said that hammering a gilded lax screw into a cucumber can represent the desire for sexual power, man’s destruction of the environment or a disdain for the high tea ceremony.

However, I failed the non-fiction class that Mr. Mailer taught. I wrote a short biography about Ernest Hemingway.  I used ogazumuxinggaochaoreshtaljamaesambhogakarsareckhwamkhir to describe how happy Hemingway was when he learned how to make clear, concise sentences.  After reading my biography on Papa, Mr. Mailer head butted me in the nose. 

On Friday, the literary devices class was cancelled because Mr. Chekov had a death in the family.  He left a note on the door that said, “You should have seen this coming.” 

Hunter S. Thompson

Friday afternoon, Mr. Burroughs taught us about Hunter S. Thompson and Gonzo journalism. 

A gutted warehouse with broken windows.

This is  Mr. Burroughs’s classroom.

Gonzo journalism uses a first person narrative and the author’s own feelings about the subject.  We also learned a lot about amphetamines, heavy drinking and firearms.  We had a quiz at the end of class and the lowest score got a beat down.   

I’ve got to go now. Mr. Burroughs just shot himself in the foot.  He was trying to disarm a student who took Mr. Burroughs’s gun off the wall. 

I can’t wait for next year!



Rating: 1 out of 5.

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