He showed us the university atmosphere. He led our writing courses. Everyone wanted to have his detailed feedback, error analysis and advice. He nearly made me play the trumpet in the lesson. He read my essays to the class. He wrote a reference for me that impressed the court. He could switch between English and German. He made the most friends in the shortest time. He left too early and threw a massive goodbye party in the local club.
As for writing, he explained the basics, listed the guidelines to follow, posed the questions writers should ask, and left the rest for our own creativity, organisation, and hard work.
- Is this the topic to make a storm rage through your brain?
- What and who exactly is this for?
- Can your pen be as quick as your mind?
- Can you tame your thoughts in both quantity and quality?
- Do you have time to keep drafting until the shape of it satisfies your purpose, eye and ear?
I have taken over the model and teach my students writing his enthusiastic and motivating way, and when I say what Marc used to say - You have nice talents for writing, keep up! - I can see the same astonishment in their eyes we used to have. And I add - Be careful, if you do it the right way, you risk falling in love with writing and, what is more, becoming very good at it.