Writing Ourselves Into Time and Place

"Seeing our lives as stories, rather than as an unrelated series of random events, increases the possibility for . . . significant, purposeful action. We all want very much for it to have mattered that we were here . . . to understand connectedness to others, to the past, and to the future," (Daniel Taylor). We will write short stories from our lives and share them with each other, making sense of the threads of our lives, discovering our personal legacies and the legacies of our generation.

A $50 discount will be applied automatically for adults 55+.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - Annie Smith $170.00 0 Join Waitlist
Online - Annie Smith $170.00 0 Join Waitlist

Schedule clarification: This is a four-week online course. It runs from Monday, February 8 to Friday, March 5. Each week, all week, you can study that week’s material, post and respond to messages, and engage in course activities. Students enrolled in Section 1 will participate in live videoconferencing sessions each Friday from 10–11:30 a.m. PT.; students enrolled in Section 2 will participate in live videoconferencing sessions each Tuesday from 1–2:30 p.m. PT.

Learning objectives

By the end of the course, you should be able to do the following:

  • Describe the people and events that have shaped our lives
  • Develop our skills as story tellers
  • Discuss our personal and generational legacy we leave to those who come after us

Learning methods

Your online learning will include the following methods:

  • Writing excercises
  • Academic and non-academic articles
  • Participation in written discussions with other students
  • Participation in videoconference seminars

For Liberal Arts for 55+ Certificate students: you will write a reflective essay.


Week One:

We will establish our expectations and goals and write about where we are right now in our lives.

Week Two: 

We will look back to the people who influenced our lives and write about our ancestors, foundational stories, parents, siblings.

Week Three:

We will write about our child-selves and how we grew into adulthood.

Week Four: 

We will look at the personal stories we choose to leave with our descendants.

Books, materials and resources

You will access reading material using SFU's online course management system, Canvas.

Technical requirements

This course is delivered using SFU's online learning system, Canvas. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.  

To get the most out of this online course, you should be comfortable doing the following:

  • Using everyday software such as browsers, email and social media
  • Navigating a website by clicking on links and finding pages in a menu
  • Downloading and opening PDF documents
  • Posting, replying and uploading images to a discussion board
  • Participating in videoconferencing sessions

You will be participating in videoconferencing using Zoom Meetings. For this, your computer needs to have a camera, microphone and speakers or headphones. Your computer software should be up to date with the latest available operating system and browser versions.

Accessing your course

  • A few days before the course starts, we will email you more information about the course and how you'll access it. You will also receive an email inviting you to access the Canvas learning platform (click on the link in the invitation to join the course). Once you’ve accessed Canvas, you can begin exploring the platform on your own. The full course will be accessible on its start date.
  • We’ll also host a virtual drop-in time on Zoom Meetings a few days before the course starts. This will give you a chance to check that you can access Zoom Meetings, and that your computer’s camera and microphone and speakers are working properly.

If you're 55+, you may take this course as part of

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