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  Pedagogy, Philosophy, and Nonsense Home 

Essays and Links

Latest Essay:  Writing and Einstein: The Difference Between Information and Meaning

Autobiography Challenge

Considering Conclusions         

Considering Introductions

Four Meanings of Life

Godot and the Great Pumpkin


    A Major is More Minor   Than You Think

 Thoughts About Picking a      Major

Quick Points

Quick Points About Writing

Reading Poetry and Cloud Watching

Revising Revision

Reviving Experience

Reviving Symbolism

Using an Audience

What Makes a Story True

What's the Subject of a Class?

Why Write? Legos, Power, and Control

Writing and the Goldilocks Dilemma

Writing Yourself Into Being:  The Online Textbook to Come

CREATIVE NON-FICTION (Essays not directly related to education or writing)

The Blessing and the Blues

The Hair Connection

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Showing Class: Writing by Current and Former Students

Poems, Essays, Drafts, and Scraps

Links to Other Sites

 Pedagogy, Philosophy, and Nonsense


Not Just Another Writing Class
Not Only Ways to Write But Reasons to Write

 Learn:  what writing has the power to do;
what you have the ability to do with writing;
to find and follow ideas even when you don't know they're there;
to increase the power and precision of your writing by pursuing the ideas;
to discover, create, and refine meaning through writing;
to appreciate and use personal experience.
Forrest D. Poston
729 N. Sonntag Ave.
Evansville, IN 47712
Pedagogy, Philosophy, and Nonsense
    Or you can often find me at Wadi Cafe, minus the cats.
It's usually easiest to reach me by e-mail because I'm often tying up the phone line with on-line work (and play). Descriptions available on-line or at the west side Wadi Cafe.  Feel free to contact me with questions. Sign-up sheets also at Wadi.

Each seminar will be limited to 10 people.  Participants should be at least 16 years old.
Cost for the 12 weeks is only $45.  Of course, you'll also need to supply your writing materials, and I strongly suggest buying a copy of Write to Learn by Donald M. Murray, 5th edition. Used copies are always available through various online companies.
Guarantee: If you finish the seminar, do the work, and don't miss more than 1/3 of the meetings and still don't think you got your money's worth, you'll get the $45 registration fee back in full
 There will be two times to choose from for the group meetings:
Mon. & Wed. 4-5:30                       
Tue. &Thur. 5-6:30

(If there is enough demand,
I will add more times.)
Individual meeting times will be scheduled at your convenience Mon.-Fri.
I know many of you have classes, work, friends, and family, which makes it hard to fit in even a worthwhile project.  I will bend, twist and otherwise accommodate in every way I can.  In fact, one of the issues will be how to get more writing done in less time and how to use those bits and scraps of time.
PAYMENT: Pay it all at the beginning or by the week. I bend.


Starting January 12, 2004
Two group meetings and one individual meeting each week
All Meetings Will Be at Wadi Cafe, west side
Each seminar will be limited to 10 people.  Participants should be at least 16 years old.

Forrest Poston's approach to teaching is personalized.  He gives his students freedom while holding their respect.  He encourages students to harness their strengths.  He trusted I had something to write about, and I decided to trust his guidance. Before Forrest's class, I disliked writing.  In high school, a simple research report would cause me to break out in hives. Thankfully, Forrest was my first college English professor.  He encouraged spontaneous writing... thoughts, observations, and self-questioning in me.   The more I wrote without initial concern about style and other technicalities, the more I desired to write!  and write something with substance! I actually learned more than how to write-I learned about myself.  The class time, along with weekly one-on-one meetings and personalized reading assignments, provided food for self-growth. I became passionate about my education and my existence.  I gained a new, welcomed perspective.  Superficiality was never again good enough. My fondest memory of the academic piece of my college experience was my class with Mr. Poston.      Shannon Ocheltree Trewartha

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 Writing Yourself Into Being:
The Ideas Behind the Seminar

    Writing isn't about pleasing the teacher or the boss, not even simply pleasing yourself.  Neither is writing a matter of meekly submitting to form and order imposed by someone else for unclear reasons, or no real reason. Writing is about exploration, the discovery and creation of order where you thought there was only chaos and confusion. Writing is about questioning and thinking, going beyond what you already know, or think you know.  By writing our ideas down we begin an interaction between what's inside and what's on the paper, a conversation between self and self.  Compared to the tidy papers most of us were asked to write in school, this process is a challenging, sometimes terrifying experience, but the potential rewards are equally great.

     If you take the challenge, you will write more than you ever have before, but if I do my job properly, you won't notice how much you've done until you look back.  Most people have tight schedules, but we'll look at ways to get writing done and get the value out of the writing in smaller bits of time.  Five to fifteen minutes here and there on a regular basis will generate surprising results.  With physical exercise, three sessions of at least 20 minutes each week, with only a day between sessions, is enough to help, while one session of 60 minutes a week can do more harm than good.  Writing is much the same way.

     This seminar will involve very little telling and much more doing.  I won't tell you what to write about, how many papers, how long, what style, what choices to make.  While the amount of work you do will add up over time, it will be up to you to set deadlines and goals.  Some weeks you'll get a lot done.  Other weeks you'll have too many other responsibilities.  Everything in the class will be as flexible as possible to help each person get the most long-term benefits possible.  If you have to switch between different seminar meetings, change your conference time, miss a bit here and there, we'll adjust.

     If you have a fear of writing, or if you'd like to write more but don't think you have the ability, or if you think you really don't have anything to say, this seminar is still for you.  After all, you aren't getting a grade.  We'll start small.  I probably won't even say, "Write a paper."  Instead, we'll work with various brainstorming techniques, ways to find ideas and get more comfortable with writing first, worrying later.  At first, you may not see the ideas or possibilities.  Most people will feel like they're treading water for the first four to six weeks.  I'll make suggestions and ask questions, nudge and point, until you find a question or idea that draws you in and insists that you write.

     The goal isn't merely to write without technical errors.  You can pay someone to edit your writing, but you can't pay someone to tell you how to think.  Perhaps you can, but I rather think it's a bad idea.  The goal in this seminar is to help you work from scratch to find ideas, to follow them, to build them up, tear them down, and build them up again until they become clear and strong.  To do that, you have to learn how to approach the writing your way, write with your style, take control of the process, and how to give up control when necessary.

    My own love affair with words has been going on since I could talk, but even I never really appreciated the power writing has to help us think and see until I saw what my students could do when given the chance and time.  Most people I know feel like they don't have enough control over their world.  Many of them don't even know what choices they'd make if they had the chance.  Writing can help you see and understand what the questions and issues are, help you understand the differences between who you are and who you think you are, differences between what you think you want and what you need.  It's a tall order, and the road isn't always smooth. I'm not saying I can give you answers, but writing offers ways to help you find the answers yourself.

There's no way to say exactly what we'll do in the seminar because it will be a bit different for each person, but if you want to talk more about the process feel free to get in touch. I'm often difficult to reach by phone, so I suggest trying e-mail.  If you don't get an answer, it means that your message or my answer went astray.  Please keep trying.  You can also find me at Wadi Cafe (west side) many afternoons.

There are sign-up sheets available. Just ask at the counter.  Signing up isn't a binding commitment.  It simply tells me who is interested so I can get in touch.  If you sign up and need to make changes later, I'm willing to adapt as much as I can.

Forrest D. Poston
729 N. Sonntag Ave.
Evansville, IN 47712                           (812) 467-0191             

E-mail Me

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