I had to teach a writing workshop on “tone” to a bunch of Sacramento City College students. I wanted painter Jeff Musser to help me out. But the only problem was, the thought of speaking in front of large groups made Jeff sweaty and feel like he was going to die. So I told Jeff that there would only be a few students there, like 10 max. That was a lie.

I made sure to catch a video when he realized that the class was standing-room-only.

After the workshop, the professor had students write reviews of our presentation. Here are some of their comments:

  • It gave me a better sense of what tone is.
  • They are easy on the eyes.
  • Josh was really funny and was great at writing those poems on the spot.
  • Jeff is a great artist. Amazing. I love the painting.
  • Jeff and Josh: interesting, exciting, they were both cute, very talented, creative, hilarious
  • Josh and jeff are extremely talented and I enjoyed listening and seeing their creativity.
  • They seem to love what they do. Well educated. Talented.
  • Josh’s ability to come up with poems that are that deep was amazing. I was actually really glad I went because I write poetry too.
  • Josh: creative. Surprised he could come up with outstanding poems. Jeff: very artistic
  • It was amazing to see how they would create a picture and a poem in such a bit of time, but it was also fun and humorous.
  • It was funny. We were really short on chairs.

And this is the best one:

  • I want to have a private tutoring session on tone with them.

What I learned from teaching this workshop about using tone in writing is probably one of the most important lessons one can learn: that many of the students wanted to have sexual intercourse with me and Jeff Musser.

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