Last week I mentioned I had to attend a grant writing class. The title of the class was, "Grant writing that gets results!" Since I hope to apply for a grant in the future, I was interested in learning all I could about the serious side of writing grants.
The class failed miserably in that aspect. The instructor was an accountant and numbers, numbers and more numbers was her entire presentation. As a word person, I found the class and information dull. Yes, I brought home a few good website addresses on places to go for fundraising, but that had not been my purpose for attending this writing class. I wanted to study up on the lingo on what grant givers might be looking for. I had been in need of a word interpretation class and received a math class instead. Dare I say, shoot me!?!
The instructor never presented a sample grant. She did not expound on the government grants which I was quite interested in. She used her power point overhead as we, the class, read the very same thing in our notebooks she handed out. I do not enjoy being read to as if I'm ten years old. I was looking for fresh insight to grant writing.
What I brought home was a plethora of ideas for character traits! The elderly man behind me decided clipping his fingernails after lunch was a good time to do his personal grooming. Each clip, clip, clip, echoed throughout the room. A few ladies across the isle were still eating their lunch and stared in disbelief. I don't believe he noticed.
The plump woman in front of me had the chatty-Cathy syndrome. Since no one else sat in her row, she put her feet up on the chair in front of me and proceeded to chat with me even when I pointed at the instructor who was talking. It didn't phase her. She had a story to tell and by gosh she continued on despite the other conversation going on in the room.
Another woman complained about her board not helping out as they were supposed to. She said they did nothing and complained when she asked for help. She should have canvassed the room before she shared her woes. One of her board members sat in the back of the room.
Then two men sauntered in half-way through the class. They lumbered up to the front and plopped down, then began unpacking their belongings and taking off their coats as the rest of the class watched. Their tardiness didn't seem to bother them and the instructor finally got back on task of talking about finding money in small communities.
The instructor spent a great deal of time complimenting the one man who raised BIG bucks for a hospital. She was from the suburbs and obviously felt a connection to him and his impressive portfolio. She referred to him throughout the presentation as if he was there as proof to her expertise, and not in attendance to learn.
I may not have garnered much in the way of grant writing, but the character traits I discovered served as a great refresher course for my fiction writing. I've stored them in my writer's tool box. I wonder how long it will be before I use one?
Til next time ~