Testimonials From Students
I wanted to tell you how much of an effect your class had on me. It changed my outlook on the general practice of writing, my own dreams, and the further possibilities of "success" in writing. It was such an inspiring class that left me feeling this wonderful sense of hope and drive after each session--It really reawakened something in me (lost motivation, maybe). After the first couple of weeks, I was already telling my friends that your class was one of the best I've ever taken in my life. Even though there were some fluctuations with class participation, in the end, the core group that remained was so special. I've taken writing workshops at Sarah Lawrence, but I never felt a sense of camaraderie as strong as the one in our class--we were all there of our own volition and sincerely wanted to grow as writers. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you again for being such a supportive, dedicated professor and for helping me come out of my shell as a writer (still a work in progress, of course).
--Seimi Rurup, Editorial Assistant
I do think I lucked out in having you teach this course. You are clearly very knowledgeable and have a passion for teaching. I found your comments incredibly useful. Thank you, Carol, for your attention to my work and all the feedback you gave me. I hope to stay in touch with you in the future.
--Emily Sears, Dancer/Performance Artist
"This feels like the first real writing class I have ever taken. That sounds cynical, I know, but most of the classes I have taken have been for less serious students and I think this is the first one in which I've really gotten a sense of what it means to be a working writer. Although I am much disappointed to find that the writing life doesn't include copious amounts of drugs and alcohol, I am glad to have a clearer sense of the time, effort and commitment it takes to accomplish anything as a writer. It's a not-trivial endeavor."
--Tony G. Rocco
Thank you for pouring so much of yourself into this class and thank you for expanding your role and guiding us to be better readers as well as writers. This was an interesting group of people. I think I learned something from almost all of them, and I feel sure that I have you to thank for that."
--Catherine Young, Cookbook Author
"I got away with none of my old devices in your class, and there is nothing that could have been more valuable to me than this. It forced me to write from the most genuine place possible. ..Your investment in my improvement was more than appreciated."
-- Rachel Bergman
I plan to take another writing workshop either this summer or next fall. And I'd take another class with you in a heartbeat.
--Shawn Rogers, Council of State Governments and Justice Center
"Today is the last day of class, and I'm happy to say that I feel like more of a writer. This is primarily because I'm actually writing again, and I think you for focusing on discipline through your advice to use 'notebooks' and to write a little bit every day... I thank you for your thoughtful advice and critique. I learned a lot over these several weeks. And it was such a pleasure to see everyone's storytelling improve and take shape.
--Shabnam Faruki, Lawyer
Thank you for charisma and sense of humor. Thank you for your professionalism.
--Augustin Silva, Magician, Musician, Aspiring Filmmaker
Thank you for sharing yourself with this class. You have made a difference in my life.
--Emily Stern, Post Foods
"This was one of the greatest learning experiences for me. I not only walked away with two pieces I can continue to develop, but insights into creating new pieces, and perhaps the book that's somewhere inside me."
--Lara Salahi, ABC News
"I woke up to find this message in my inbox and wanted to share with you, as I thank you for your insightful guidance in helping to shape my personal statement into one that really made sense for me, and in which I found satisfaction. I took your advice and started a new file, and re-wrote it and turned it into a memorial for my father. There were some tears along the way, but this allowed me to openly bring him into my graduate application process, as he was already there anyway.
Thanks again for helping me put together an acceptance-worthy essay, Carol. I can't believe I'm going to be a graduate student!"
Jean Kim, Lobbyist
TLM Associates, LLC
"Today I am a more effective writer. I owe it to your honesty and encouragement. I hope I can keep you as a mentor in my life. Your words were invaluable to my growth as a writer."
-- Jill Krasny, Writer & Editor, Reader's Digest
"I feel extremely lucky to have had you as a teacher. I have been inspired by your interest in life which seems to extend to every facet of existence."
"Thanks for being my teacher. I really enjoyed your humor, ranting, compassion, and practical advice for how to get over ourselves (or into ourselves) and make better writing...It's really been an affirming experience."
--Kirk Henderson, Architect
"After a long hiatus, I wanted to revitalize myself and renew my interest in the one enterprise that had always sustained me-writing. Having been a college teacher for nearly thirty years, it would now be my turn to be a student. I did not know what to expect nor did I know what would be expected of me. Needless to say, I was rather apprehensive. My fears proved to be ungrounded. Carol, with her indomitable wit and deep knowledge of the writing process, encouraged the best in me. As I walked home after the first class, I noticed a bounce in my step, my head filled with stories I had been yearning to tell, and an overall sense of euphoria that had not gripped me in a long time. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to have come upon such a great teacher and saw it as divine intervention.
Carol imposed a discipline of writing I had long cast by the wayside. I could no longer find excuses for not doing the work. I forced myself to write as much as I could and it soon evolved into a routine. Carol's critiques were direct and honest without resorting to flattery or empty praise. She really made me re-vision my writing. By the end of the course, I had learned though not yet mastered, the literary tropes of setting, time, plot, dialogue, etc. that it became part of my own critical awareness towards my writing. I knew instinctively how to improve my writing and though I was not always successful, I had the tools at my disposal.
Carol's teaching style and methodology was so impressive that, after the workshop, I decided to work with her privately. Her careful mentoring and astute commentary has resulted in a completed memoir and several publications. Thanks to Carol, writing has become an integral part of my life. My spirit is renewed and I owe it all to her. When people ask what I do, I can proudly claim, 'I am a writer.' "
--Vasu Varadhan, Associate Faculty, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, NYU
I really enjoyed your course. You made the requirements and objectives clear at the start and your comments on our work were unfailingly perceptive and helpful. Best of all, you seemed genuinely interested in us, not just the writing, but in helping us go further with it.
--John Spencer. Professor Emeritus, Middlebury College
There has always been a sense of urgency in me, to get out my thoughts, emotions, ideas. And, finally, I have figured out how to revise and write...I feel thoroughly inspired...
I don't know how many people I've told, "I love my writing teacher!" You are inspirational, honest and dedicated. I got so much more out of this class than I thought I would. It's been a real introduction to writing-a glimpse into the writer's world...
I look back on my writing prior to meeting Carol Bergman seven years ago and cringe. I have no hesitation recommending anybody of any level working with her to help improve all elements of the craft. Her thorough yet compassionate editorial input has been invaluable to me. Working with her has been tremendously rewarding.
--Ross Martin, Landscape Architect
I appreciated the structure Carol gave us in the workshop. She set a high bar in terms of what we were asked to do--the amount of work, the quality of the readings, the critiques.
--Bridget Moury, Assistant Manager, Business Affairs, HBO.