He looks up from his writer's notebook.
"This is hard."
"This is hard. I can't stop writing."
J is taking Creative Writing independently because he couldn't fit the regular class into his schedule. It is the lesser of two evils. He hates writing less than he hates reading.
"I just don't know where to stop."
"What are you writing?"
He proceeds to talk about a decision he was working his way through--whether to go to college or join the Marines. He wants to be a professional pilot. It's been his dream forever and he recently got his pilot's license. He has lots of reasons to do either one.
The decision isn't important---well, it is. BUT
He was using his writing to help sort out his thoughts. Thoughts he hadn't even expressed to his parents yet.
And then we started talking. He'd explain. I'd question.
I'd explain and he'd question.
I asked him if it helped, this conversation. It did, but it also gave him much more to think about.
Writer's notebook forgotten.
But it's OK. Because sometimes, conversations are more important than curriculum.
Postscript: J is using this conversation and the draft in his notebook as the basis of his first piece of writing. He still hasn't talked to his parents but is closer to making the decision. I can't wait to read about it.