During the fall semester, creative writing majors Quinn
Etchie ’08, Michael
Gruosso ’06, Kirsten
Konowich ’07, and Brian
Phares ’07, along with faculty mentor Brad
Korbesmeyer, completed a month-long workshop with some
of the residents of the Springside independent retirement
community at Seneca Hill, located about five minutes
south of Oswego.
Creative Writing Professor
Brad Korbesmeyer looks over monologues by Springside
residents Jan Brown and Sophie Ferens, as student
’08 looks on.
The residents spent the time writing monologues, with
the student mentors editing their work and helping them
progress as writers.
The participating residents, May Hale, Jan Brown, Robert
Wood, Bob Canfield, Marion Motis, Alison Wood, Sophie
Ferens, Barbara McCormack and Alice Herrman, wrote short
pieces that were collected and assembled into a book
by Creative Writing Program secretary Rosalie Battles.
On the final day of the workshop, the students read
the resident’s final pieces back to them at a
The students seized the opportunity to do something
for the community.
“I enjoyed their company. I was more than happy
to help them with their projects, plus I made some new
friends,” said Gruosso.
“I loved working with the Springside residents,
they were incredibly talented and very interested in
our project,” said Etchie. “I was
surprised at how grateful they were that we took the
time to review their work, and how interested they were
in what we had to say about it.”
When asked, most of the residents had nothing but good
things to say about the program. “I thought it
was wonderful,” said Marion Motis. “(The
students) gave me a lot of good ideas.”
Sophie Ferens agreed, saying, “It was beautiful…I
really enjoyed it and I loved the help the students
Past chair of the former SUNY Oswego reading education
department and Springside resident Bob Canfield said
it is “good to have the opportunity to share our
work and know someone cares.”
The residents enjoyed the program so much, some of them
were discussing continuing the workshop after the scheduled
visits had ended. Some student mentors have already
volunteered their time if more meetings are arranged.
— Brian Phares ’07
To January 2007 E-Newsletter