We Begin With Tragedy

I will make my introduction and announcements brief because I want the focus of this blog to be one thing, and one thing only – Haiti.

My name is PJ German and I am, not only a student blogger, but President of Swamp Scribes, Teacher Assistant/Student Advisor of Elektraphrog, and Teacher Assistant in the English Lab. Aside from college, I have had poetry published and am a freelance journalist for the North Port Sun. My goal for this blog is to bring the college to you, the reader. I will not write about my personal life and how it is affecting my education. In all honesty, if I read a blog like that, I would close the page. I assume you would do that as well; therefore, I will leave that out of my blogs.

A few announcements before I get to the meat of this blog: 1) The last day to web-drop courses with a refund is Saturday, January 16th. If you wish to get money back for classes you have changed your mind about, be sure to do it by the end of this date; otherwise, it will cost you; 2) This coming Wednesday and Thursday, January 20th and 21st, is Club Rush. The theme for Club Rush this semester is Haiti.

On that note, I would like to talk about Haiti. There is, in the making, a college-wide effort to raise money for Haiti. The money will be donated to the Red Cross. We will not be searching for food or clothing. Money is the best way to donate right now. The Red Cross can use that money in whatever way they deem necessary, whether it be food, clothing, or building restructure. Clubs will be collecting money during Club Rush. We understand it is very difficult during this economy to donate. If loose change is all you can give, then we will take that as well. Any amount will go an extremely long way in a country that is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. I will be in contact with people who are forming this, and provide updates as regularly as possible.

‘In the words of one expert on charitable donations, “Most people think America is generous because we are rich. The truth is, we are rich because we are generous.”‘ – David Lee Miller of Fox News in New York City

What, Exactly, is a Hermitage?

I had the pleasure of a guest writer in one of my classes this week. Her name is Alice Pung and she is currently residing in a hermitage in Manasota Key. She had some amazing wisdom for other writers. She said to write everything down. Alice said if you don’t get out all the crap then you can’t get to the good stuff (this makes me think of layers in your mind with crap being the first).

Sometimes, or most of the time, I feel what I am writing is crap. Whether it’s for a short story, homework, or a paper. To be honest, I also feel more pressure to write well because I am an English major and I want to be a great writer. Then I stop. I realize we are all human, and we’re all still learning! I have also been told the first

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draft is usually not very good anyways.

To get to my main interest on Alice Pung (for this blog anyway) is where she is staying. She is at a hermitage. Apparently a hermitage is a beautiful building in which writers, painters, composers, etc. come to hermit themselves away. They spend all their time on their profession for a few weeks and pay back the community, like how Alice came and spoke to our class. Possibly you already knew what a hermitage was, or could have guessed from the root of the word. But I never knew we had one nearby! Hopefully more of the creative folks that visit will come and see us at SCF.