Alumni Writers’ Retreat at USC

At the first Alumni Writers’ Retreat on November 23rd, I experienced true friendship and understanding from my fellow alumni. I arrived at USC to meet 13 other alumni, as well as IOW staff ready to embark on our half-day retreat. At first, I didn’t know if this was going to be like our regular writing circles or something completely new. From the very beginning I felt comfortable with my peers who included both familiar and new faces. This made it even more interesting because it gave the long-time alums a chance to demonstrate leadership and gave our new alumni the opportunity to open up and realize they were a part of the family.

Alumni Intern Jesse Molina discussing his writing.

Alumni Intern Jesse Molina discussing his writing.

We started off the workshop with a look at some of our mistakes. In an open discussion we talked about behavior problems, triggers and the positives and negatives in our decision making processes. We read a series of fables that were more like life lessons. Every fable had a message that hit home emotionally for a lot of us. In one, I took it pretty personally and discussed some of the current issues I’m experiencing with my mother. I spoke frankly about the matter and openly discussed how all of my mixed emotions and anger led me to act out.
After I shared with the group and received feedback from the alumni, I came to realize that I was hurt, frustrated, and I needed my mother. The mistake I made was that I lacked the communication skills and I didn’t approach the situation with care. Instead, I used anger as a mask and lashed out at her. After reading the fable, relating it back to my own life and hearing my peers’ thoughts, I realized that this whole time I was focused solely on my own needs and desires and not on my mom’s.
Once everyone had shared and discussed their writings, we went to a restaurant where we relaxed and enjoyed a great meal. I had an amazing time at this year’s Writers’ Retreat.
It’s always a good time with the InsideOUT Writers family. You never know what to expect or how the writing sessions will turn out, but, like always, it did not disappoint.

-Jesse Molina


Participants in the Alumni Writers' retreat on the steps of USC.

Participants in the Alumni Writers’ retreat on the steps of USC.