I have participated in two of Woody’s courses so far – International WWI literature and Japanese literature. It certainly seems that her courses are not for those who prefer to sit back and passively absorb their learning. Woody immerses right from the start with a range of material carefully paced and selected to challenge, enlighten and amaze. Her interactive approach and multi-media engagement captivated me right from the start and, importantly, fired up a continuing interest and motivation to delve even further. It is safe to say that Woody will open doors to new worlds and your eyes to new insights. This is inspirational teaching and learning at its best.
- Michael Taylor, City of Bath College learner
I would recommend Woody’s courses to anyone who loves to be challenged by the unfamiliar and to be given a fresh perspective on what they thought they knew. She gives structure to any discussion without stifling individual contributions and it’s all achieved in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. I’ve done three courses so far and am looking forward to more.
- Kathryn, City of Bath College learner
Woody’s deep knowledge and love of literature permeate her classes. She enlivens each session with group discussions, reading aloud, and film and audio clips, and creates a friendly and enthusiastic atmosphere in which people enjoy learning together and feel free to participate. I have taken part in three of Woody’s courses and found each one to be an exciting and rewarding voyage of discovery.
- Oliver, City of Bath College learner.
Woody has a deep and instructive understanding of her material. She manages to extract the best out of her audience by a thoughtful and supportive presentation style. Her course material was well prepared and time flew by! For a literature beginner such as I, she was superb.
- Dr Ray Stanbridge, Coleridge Cottage day workshop learner
What an enjoyable day in a wonderful venue!
Woody’s love of her subject enabled an inspiring learning experience.
When’s the Shelley workshop?!
- Pen, Coleridge Cottage day workshop learner.
Although the thought of taking a literary class had often crossed my mind every now and then, I never seemed to get round to it. Well, more fool me. But then again perhaps not, given that my timing to explore a course like this now meant that it would be Woody River who was teaching the class. Without over praising at all I can simple say that she is the sort of tutor that you dream of having, but don’t actually expect to exist.
The classes (I have done 2 now) have been extremely informative and always interesting and each class has been a pure pleasure to attend. Woody has a very comprehensive knowledge of her subject and how she manages to convey so much of this on to us in such a relaxed, yet captivating, manner I do not know – but she does. As someone who has always enjoyed reading very much I can wholeheartedly recommend any course that Woody is kind enough to offer.
– Maggie, Frome Community Education learner.
I have now attended two of Woody’s courses: Romantic Poets in the South West and 20th century American Literature.
I have enjoyed both. I agree with other students of Woody’s who find her approach stimulating, interesting and her infectious enthusiasm makes me want to learn more about our subject. I am a lifelong avid reader and it is a treat to find new authors or discover new things about ones I have already read.
I particularly appreciate the creative approach Woody brings in introducing other texts or ideas to illustrate the work of the writer we are studying.
She is good at encouraging discussion among the group and for boosting confidence in her learners so all feel able to contribute opinions and ideas.
I would strongly recommend attendance at Woody’s courses.
- Sara, Frome Community Education learner
Japanese literature course.
A very stimulating and thought-provoking course – well run in a pleasant, friendly manner – excellent tutor.
- Sue, South West region WEA / CASA learner.
Woody River has been introducing a group of us to highlights of Japanese literature. There can be something daunting about approaching so foreign a culture but also something entrancing and stimulating. Under Woody’s enthusiastic and well informed guidance, we have entered a world of new experiences and through a wide range of personalities and literary styles, we have incidentally become more acquainted with the geography, history and psychology of Japan.
We ranged from the poetic rustic travels of the 17th century Basho and the mystical stories of 18th century Akinari, steeped in classical legend, to the social concerns of Higuche and very modern identity issues of Akutagawa, reflecting the turbulent changes as Japan opened up dramatically to the West after the mid 19th century. Extracts from Ibuse’s Black Rain on the traumatic aftermath of Hiroshima provoked discussion and reflection on our knowledge of, and attitudes to, Japan, as was skillfully engineered by our tutor on all the works we covered. I would strongly recommend Woody as a guide on any literary quest.
- Paul, South West region WEA / CASA learner
Thank you for a really interesting introduction to 20th century American literature. We learnt a great deal and enjoyed the interactive sessions with much discussion. The inclusion of audio and video clips helped bring the texts to life and the atmosphere in the classes enabled everyone to voice their views. We would highly recommend the course!
- Richard and Annie, South West region WEA / CASA learners.