Students in English Composition I got a taste of their community and so much more during a nighttime project recently.

For a class assignment, the students were assigned to read, “The Corner Store” by Eudora Welty. They and their instructor, John Davis Jr., were discussing the stories use of imagery, and how it appealed to the audience. They completed a five-column note chart, documenting the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures used in the essay, and then decided to try their own hand at Welty’s trademark writing style.

The students and their instructor visited a local Publix where they took handheld whiteboards into the store and began documenting all of the sensations around them. The vivid colors, the scents of fresh flowers, fruits, veggies, and breads, and the sounds of an active, thriving grocery store all came alive in their notes. A few free samples provided tastes, while the store’s interactive displays provided stimulation for each student’s sense of touch.

Upon returning to campus, the students then took their observations and wrote brief essays documenting their experiences. The imagery, like Welty’s, made each piece come alive with the vivid environment they encountered.