For your first post to our course blog, I’d like you to get into pairs and interview one of your classmates. Using the questions we generated together as a class, take about ten minutes to ask your classmate more about him- or herself. In addition to the usual questions about who he or she is, where she or he is from, or what he or she does for fun, please pay particular attention to this person’s past experiences as a writer. What does your classmate remember about his or her previous writing instruction? What kinds of writing appeals (or doesn’t) to your classmate? Why? What meaningful or significant experiences has he or she had with writing? As well, ask questions about your classmate’s previous experience or interest in service-learning or volunteering for community-based organizations. Perhaps most importantly, try to learn more about this person’s experience with the issue of homelessness and what he or she hopes to learn as a writer, researcher, or civically engaged person by taking this course.
Once you complete both interviews, spend the next 20 minutes writing a profile (aim for 250-350 words) that vividly represents your classmate. Whatever issues you focus on, take care with this short piece, for it is our first impression of you as a writer, as well as the first impression of the person you interviewed. And don't forget to have fun with this piece—be creative and make it interesting! Use quotes, brief stories, and any other vivid details you can discover to enrich your profile of this person.