Now that the school year is starting up again, you’ll have a chance to get more acquainted with our teachers. Meet our second year teacher, Anhvu Buchanan, who will be teaching at the Juvenile Justice Center and Excelsior Branch Library for the 2011-2012 academic year.
What has been your favorite experience as a Teaching Artist with WritersCorps?
My favorite experience as a Teaching Artist with WritersCorps is definitely last spring’s WritersCorps event WordStorm. It was wonderful being surrounded by all the amazing participants of WritersCorps. I loved hearing the wonderful work they wrote during the school year, and the books that each site published were extraordinary and beautiful.
Would you say that your teaching style is similar to your writing style?
I would say that my writing style is very similar to my teaching style. As a writer, I’m not afraid to take risks and try different things on the page and with words. I feel as though I’m the same way in the classroom. I don’t mind being creative and different when it comes to creating my lessons.
Who or what have been your most inspirational teachers?
I’ve had two inspirational teachers in my life that I will never forget. The first was my psychology professor at Virginia Tech, Joseph Germana. He was the kind of teacher that I thought only existed in movies. The kind of teacher that would stand on top of the desk and rip up the textbook right in front of you. He didn’t have a computer and used a typewriter for everything. He had never used the Internet. He didn’t believe in grades and once, for another class, made them climb up a tree and yell out the grade they thought they deserved. But what was inspiring about him was his ability to think outside the box. He created engaging and thought-provoking lessons that I still to this day will never forget. Another inspirational teacher for me was Truong Tran at SFSU. He was inspiring in the sense that he went above and beyond for his students. He not only cared about how well you did in the classroom but how you did in life as well. I’ve never met anyone who looked out for their students the way Truong Tran does.
What are you reading now?
Currently, I am reading “The Savage Detectives” by Roberto Bolano and “Say So” by Dora Malech.
What’s your advice to young writers seeking to branch out and become more serious with their craft?
Read, read, and then read some more. The more you read, the better a writer you will become. Not only will it help build your vocabulary, but it can inspire you and introduce you to many different writing styles and voices. Secondly, I think it’s important to find a support system. Find a small group or community of other writers that you can get together with once every few weeks to share the work you’ve written and give you some feedback or ideas to expand your writing. WritersCorps has an amazing Apprentice Program that is perfect for any young writer in San Francisco who wants to become a part of a community of serious young writers.