Taking Journaling a Step Further

A pop-up journaling class took place in Webster’s Bookstore Cafe in State College on Monday, Nov. 26 with one session at 10 a.m. and noon led by Penn State graduate Emily Chertow.

During the class there were name tags, colorful pens, introductions and time to write and share your thoughts. The leader of the group, Emily Chertow, studied journalism at Penn State and Columbia University and has a passion for mindfulness within herself and others.

Photo courtesy of Emily Chertow.

“In my work, I want to share thoughts, news and opinions that will allow others to spark a conversation or connect with it to a degree. If someone connects to one thing I share or write, then I’m doing my job, and I am most fulfilled. I love helping others and being a platform for people to think — journalism and media has allowed me to do that,” says Chertow.

The layout of the class consisted of different prompts to write about and then sharing with the group either an excerpt or reading directly from your journal. One of the prompts we wrote about was what we were feeling in that moment, what is going on in our lives and how we want to live after reading a poem by Charles Harper Webb.

“It’s important for me to stay connected with my journalers and have them know that I can always be a place for them to come to inside or outside of our session. In addition, I am very intentional about the space and the energy that is there when arriving to class. The words cozy and comfortable are very important to me in my life, and I want to make sure that both of those are present when my participants walk into the space and circle to share. I always make sure there are snacks available, nice pens to write with and a welcoming environment to walk into,” says Chertow.

Photo courtesy of Emily Chertow.

VALLEY participated in one of Chertow’s recent classes and felt the the environment and gratitude toward her, writing and sharing our thoughts on life.

“Something I wasn’t expecting was this strong bond that I would feel during class with the participants. I joke that these classes are cheap therapy, but it’s true! I know often a lot of weight is lifted from my journalers after participating and that is so special to me.  I have these classes to help people be mindful and to get people to be journaling, but to be able to find such an amazing community is the most fulfilling feeling in the world,” says Chertow.

These pop-up journaling classes are available per request as well, in either a group or private session. Email journalingclasses@gmail.com for more information!


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