Thompson speaks about writing for a public audience as it relates to, for the most part, school. For some reason the only thing that this reminds me of is guided meditations in high school. I went to an all-girls catholic high school where religion classes were mandatory, but also plagued with guided meditations. All this entailed was us laying on the ground and closing our eyes while a nun played some recording of waves and told us about how Jesus walked up to us on a beach. We were instructed to have a conversation with Jesus. If we fell asleep during the process it was okay because it was "what Jesus wanted." This is not fictional; this is my life. The reason this reminds me of sharing writing is because after these guided meditations we would be instructed to write about our conversation with Jesus and what we talked about. We handed these “journals” in to our teacher and she graded and commented on them. She graded my conversation with Jesus.
I think sharing writing is a really scary thing, especially when it’s something personal. I never actually told Sr. Peggy anything true in my journals; I lied. Jesus and I were always talking about puppies and homework, as far she knew. I hated being forced to share personal writing, so I never made it personal. I think encouraging students to express themselves in writing is fantastic, but I also think that, at an early stage, it should be graded. We should encourage students to feel comfortable putting their thoughts and feelings out on paper.