Writing Away from Home - My Family Travels

A simple brochure has changed my life forever. Writing has always been one of my strong points in school, but I never thought that it would carry me to foreign places.

This past April, I received a brochure in the mail from Lake Forest College about a Writing and Thinking Workshop that they were going to be hosting that summer. Each applicant was required to submit an essay that described a time when writing became important in his or her life. I had never really thought much about it, but after my grandfather passed away, I began to write more and more. Words just seemed to have a way with me, and I couldn’t stop. Writing became one of my favorite things to do.
I started to debate the workshop, and decided to talk to my mother. We both agreed that if I could I would raise the money, she would allow me to attend.
On the first day of the workshop, I wanted to go home. I felt like I did not fit in with the other students because of background diversity. I was uncomfortable and intimidated.
The second day proved differently. In the classrooms during the writing hours of the day, we were given different prompts. The writing wasn’t formal-we were given prompts and story situations instead-but the indirect method was worthy of trying. Outside the actual workshops, in our free time, we stayed in my dorm room for hours on end, laughing and getting to know others better. I seemed to be the center of attention, and the more I was able to get to know everyone, the longer I wanted the workshop to continue.
On the weekends, we did not have formal classes to attend. Instead, we would venture into the city and explore it as if it were our own playground. We visited the Art Institute of Chicago and were able to write about any piece of art that caught our attention.
We described memories of our past in vivid details to allow others to embrace our diversity. We bonded through games of “Apples to Apples” and “Ten Fingers.” We journeyed fifteen minutes in one direction or another to visit the waterfront of Lake Michigan or the quaint little town across the railroad tracks of Lake Forest.
The days raced to a finish. It was time for our final celebratory reading where we would bring together a masterpiece to share with the others. Not a single soul was left that had not been touched by words.
The bonds made are irreplaceable. We made lifelong friendships, and I will cherish every moment I spent with them.

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