Dr. Edvige Giunta was my memoir professor. I took her for two semesters of Memoir (Memoir Workshop and Advanced Memoir) and I had such a great experience during my last two semesters at NJCU. Finally after taking Memoir I felt like I was a part of the NJCU community! I became a memoir writer at the age of 33 or 34.That was so cool! I think writing memoirs in Edi Giunta’s class my last two semesters at NJCU was the coolest thing I ever did. I have three process journals that I filled after classes were finished. I spilled the ink. I have (My) Ayesha’s story and my Parents and Teachers as Allies presentation. I have written a lot about my life with my mental illness. All of these writings are a part of my Schizophrenia autobiography. I plan to publish my memoir Memories of Me by age 40.
I published Ayesha’s Story back in July 2013 on http://www.nami.org. I recently published Ayesha (Me) as a Youth with Schizophrenia on http://www.nami.org my part of the Parents and Teachers as Allies presentation. Both my story and my Parents and Teachers as Allies presentation are a part of my Schizophrenia autobiography as Edvige Giunta my memoir professor called my memoir. I wrote a 3,000 word piece in Memoir Workshop and a 4,000 word piece in Advanced Memoir. I got an A in Advanced Memoir and I shared my pieces at Memoirfests in December 2014 and May 2015. I went to Memoirfest again last December 2015. I plan on publishing my book length memoir by the age of 40. I love writing memoirs and poetry for children and adults. I’m a Poet and a memoir writer.
I am finishing filling my third process journal(composition notebook) with the bones for what will be my 100-200 page memoir, Memories of Me. The first part was writing my process journal entries and the other part will be typing my memoir up and giving it to an Editor for example Edi Giunta. I’m not giving up on writing and publishing my memoir by the age of 40.
I plan on taking the Praxis Core for Educators Combined Test at ETS by August. My mom bought me the test prep guide and I’m reading it. I will take all 6 practice tests online and then I’ll probably take the paper test at ETS and have the scores sent to NJ Dept of Ed and NJCU! This is the first step before I can get into an Education co-major at NJCU or another college/university.
Fred Howard of NAMI Mercer Just Friends social group for adults age 30+ got me a huge sheet cake that had my name (Ayesha) on it for the Halloween party on October 31st 2015. Again for my 35th birthday a small group of ten people, including Fred, Lori Ann and I celebrated on January 30th 2016. I had another smaller circle cake that said Happy Birthday Ayesha! Fred made my day so special and Fred even said he would contact Maddy Monheit to have my pictures from my birthday lunch at The Olive Garden and the Halloween party (graduation theme) in the next NAMI Mercer newsletter. I wore my lovely delicate Sophia Loren eyeglasses I got at the Walmart Vision Center back in 2011 to my 35th birthday luncheon. The pictures came out really good on Jessica Wu and on Libby’s phones. I am ditching my old Samsung camera and going to buy a nice cell phone that I can take pictures with. I need to get with the times. Everybody takes pictures with their phones nowadays. This year for my 35th birthday Louise and someone else in Just Friends social group told me they tell people they know what a beautiful African American woman I am. I felt so good to be complimented by Louise who I’ve know for just under 10 years and I forgot who else gave me a similar compliment but it made my 35th birthday the best birthday ever!
I took two semesters of Memoir Workshop with Dr. Edi Giunta in my last two semesters at NJCU. I kept my process journals from her classes. After her classes were over I kept writing. I recently filled three process journals (three Composition notebooks). Edi was my favorite professor at NJCU. She has had such a positive effect on my life. I’ve been to her house where I met her husband who is an NJCU English professor too for the first time Josh Fausty. I’d only heard of Josh Fausty until Memoirfest that December 2014. When I shared at Memoirfest in December 2014 and May 2015 it was Josh Fausty, Edi Giunta and my peers who responded positively. I want to write a full two hundred page book length memoir I call, Memories of Me. One of my best poems that got featured on www.poetrysoup.com is called “Me. A poem about my illness”. I remember that book Black Like Me by an author I cannot name. I am so greatful to Edi Giunta. I was one of very few African American students in her class and yet she chose my memoir(she affectionately calls my Schizophrenia autobiography) out of all of her students’s memoirs two semesters in a row. Edi says my memoir writing style is idiosyncratic. It was me, Ayesha Karim, that Edi Giunta chose to support and invest her time and attention in both semesters I took her for Memoir Workshop and Advanced Memoir Workshop . Thank you Edi, a Sicilian American and an Italian American woman memoirist and English professor. I became an African American woman writer at the age of 33. I’m 35 now and I’ve started writing my Schizophrenia autobiography (my memoir) . I am an NJCU alumna! How awesome. How cool. I feel part of the NJCU community more now than ever before because I took Memoir my last two semesters at NJCU with Edi.
I have my first assignment to complete by February 22, 2016 for my Children’s Writer Course at the Institute of Children’s Literature. My instructor’s name is Pamela Beres. I always wanted to become a Children’s book author. I am taking this course so that I have the best shot at becoming a Children’s book author. An NJCU alumna recently was in the spotlight for creating her book Ibby’s feelings a book for children. She was pictured outside of the Weiss Center. She has the same major as me but she minored in Media Arts though.