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Course Title: Memoir Writing: The Journey to Me
Instructor: Catherine Lamberg
Curriculum: 6 units, plus Syllabus and Final Exam
Time Required: 3-4 weeks
Textbooks: None
Prerequisites: None. All students may enroll in this class
CEU Eligibility: Students who pass an exam will earn 2 CEUs
Course Fee: $12.00
Start Date: No waiting...Enroll now and start learning today!
What This Course Will Do for You

Every life has a story. How will you tell yours? Have you always wanted to write your memoir but wondered how to get started? This short writing course offers practical ways to bring the storyteller within you to life!

The memoir is the most popular and expressive literary form of our time. A memoir, in the simplest of terms, is your story. It can be short or long or in between. Some think of a memoir as a written scrapbook of memories. This course will teach you how to record the significant events in your life and turn your personal story into a captivating memoir.

Memoirs can help us make meaning of a life. Often, memoirs have a theme of struggle and redemption, as recounted by many celebrities, politicians, and survivors of crises. Many top celebrities have written memoirs, including Stephen King, Jimmy Carter, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Joan Rivers, Andy Rooney — even Marilyn Monroe.

Some people become famous because of their memoirs. Mitch Albom did not start out as a household name, but Tuesdays With Morrie certainly put him on the map. The late Dian Fossey became well-known when her memoirs were made into a movie, Gorillas in the Mist. Likewise, Winona Ryder's movie Girl, Interrupted was based on Susanna Kaysen's memoir, giving her personal story an audience on film as well as in print.

Most of us won't become famous writing our memoir, but what matters most is that writing a memoir is a special gift. It is a gift to yourself and a gift for your family and loved ones. Your memoir is your legacy. This course will provide you with the tools you need to preserve the memorable tales of your life in a riveting personal memoir!

When you have completed this course, you should be able to:

  • Get started writing your memoir rather than just thinking about it
  • Focus on the highlights of your life to weave an interesting and meaningful memoir
  • Turn bits and bits of the past into moving prose that will help your loved ones better understand you
  • Unleash your creative potential and turn the details of your life into an exciting story
  • Discover how to find your voice and write with authority
  • Write in a way that turns mundane events into interesting anecdotes that others will enjoy reading
  • Address common writing issues (active words, voice, dialogue, tense) and follow practical guidelines for to write sparkling prose
  • Edit and revise your memoirs to produce a final volume that stands as a tribute to your life
About the Instructor

Catherine Lamberg is a senior advisor at the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Field Operations, Office of Public and Indian Housing. She is currently stationed in St. Louis but has also worked and lived in Memphis, Little Rock, New Orleans and Indianapolis. She has two college aged children: David, age 23, and Dana, age 21.

Catherine enjoys many volunteer opportunities. She is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in the foster care system and president of her local Neighborhood Watch program. She manages a nonprofit that is working in the field of education and teaches a job readiness program for youth in the juvenile detention program as required by the court as a part of their rehabilitation. She holds a B.S. in Sociology and Criminology and an M.B.A. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Education Administration.

Catherine says she is an avid fan of memoir writing and criminal stories, both fact and fiction. She enjoys learning the why and how of criminal cases and is fascinatined by the details. She is also a lifelong learner and enjoys teaching as a means of learning. "There is a lot of information that books and research can teach, but the greatest lessions that I have learned have come from my interaction and teaching of other people," she observes.

Lesson Plan
Syllabus: Getting Started in this Course

Unit 1: The Bare Bones of Memoir

Unit 2: Writing As Catharsis

Unit 3: Arranging the Sand in the Hour Glass

Unit 4: Breathing Life into Your Life on Paper

Unit 5: The Heart and Soul of Your Memoir

Unit 6: Zen in the Art of You

Unit 7: Final Exam

How to Participate in this Course

Enroll and start learning today! All course materials will be available when you start the class, so you don't have to wait for weekly lessons and you can truly learn at your own pace. You don't have to be online at any set time; study at your leisure from the comfort or your home or office.

The course curriculum will include tutorial lessons, suggested readings, and optional homework activities. If you are taking the class for enjoyment or self-enrichment, homework is optional but participation is encouraged. Students who approach online learning as an adventure and actively participate will derive the most benefit and enjoyment from online learning. Homework projects, if completed satisfactorily, will earn Extra Credit points which will be added to your Final Exam score and may increase the overall grade you earn in the course.

The Student Handbook provides useful information on how to make the most of your online learning experience at KSURF's Virtual University. Refer to this guide for helpful tips on how to access classrooms, post homework, and answers to most frequently asked questions.