Parking UNMH.JPG
Visitor Parking - Bldg 202 above (approach via Camino de Salud - the lot is also available

Field Trip - UNM Hospital

Maps: http://2011writinginplace.wikispaces.com/+Field+Trip+UNM+Hosptial+-+Maps

Exploring the possibilities for creating a vivid sense of setting

Your job is to explore and experience UNMH deciding how to create a story setting that is accurate and compelling. Do some of the exercises below. There is a Cafeteria on the second floor of the hospital with tables. You can sit there and write. We will meet there initially and use the cafeteria at as a staging area for explorations.

1) Your first task will be to do an initial, attentive exploration. Most of you will be arriving with other students, sharing rides. After you park, however, Stifle conversation. Do not enter the hospital conversing with comrades. Instead, walk in attentive silence. Be aware of sensing the setting and people. Notice sights, sounds, smells, skin sensations, and the situation of your muscles and organs. Make notes. The first time you are in a new and rich setting is very special.

2) As you explore the various settings list the aspects of the environment that are familiar, expected.

3) Similarly, note down things that are unfamiliar, unanticipated.

4) Imagine one of the locations (the cafeteria, the emergency room waiting area, the chapel, the gift shop, etc. as the setting for a story segment. What aspects of the setting would you choose to mention if the story was about:
  • A politician there for a photo-op with patients and physicians
  • An undercover INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) officer investigating human trafficking.
  • A young, unmarried, unemployed woman encountering the medical system for the first time.
  • A medical student doing her/his first residency in Emergency Care.
  • An undocumented Mexican man who has suffered a serious injury at a construction site.

5) Imagine the ER as a setting in a genre piece (Romance Fiction, International Thriller, Murder Mystery, Science Fiction, etc.)

6) If possible have a conversation with someone at the hospital who is not in the class.

7) After awhile, touch bases with me and your peers in the seminar (I will remain in the cafeteria). Compare notes, share stories, note comparisons and contrasts in terms of what you noticed and how you focussed your attention.