This program is made possible through a generous gift from Ruth and Russell Bolton
in conjunction with the Eberly College of Arts & Sciences.

Friday, March 23, 2012

PRT gods, Mountaineer Time Travel, and St. Patrick's Madness

We met the day after St. Patrick's day at 1 in the afternoon. I walked up the hill to the Honors Dorm, stepping over remnants of the night before, ready to talk about magical realism and origin tales. Little did I know, my lesson on magical realism wasn't as necessary as I thought. It seemed as if Morgantown took a step away from reality the night before. We spent the first bit of workshop talking and writing about what makes Morgantown so Morgantowny before I segued into magical realism. "It's world that's real except for when something unreal, magical, happens in it from time to time." A girl brought up how the night before a guy stood at the top of the steps by the dorm decreeing that to people "you shall not pass." I acknowledged that they might have gotten a taste of magical realism then (or at least a taste of surrealism, but that's a different lesson).

We read some Marquez, marveled at how the man can make a metaphor become real (light no longer flows like water. Light is water in two boys' apartment, deep enough to row a boat in it). We discussed folklore and origin stories, thinking about how they explain questions that we have in the real world, and then set out to write stories of our own.

One student wrote about walking down High Street suddenly to find herself face to face with the old Mountaineer Field and her mother, attending a game. Another wrote about leprechauns on Grant Street that were less than nice. Finally, another took on the origins of the PRT (was It founded by the bus gods and hate, made of "unholy metal," and "whined into existence."). At the end of the day, as the students got ready to rush off to a Quidditch tournament, we decided that you didn't have to look hard to find elements of magic in Morgantown. You just had to watch and record it.

Join us for our final Bolton on April 15 at 3:30. Honors Hall. RFL.

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