The course has 24 lectures, and I've just finished the twelfth, which has an exercise in cumulative sentence-writing. My task was to write a sentence of at least 100 words, making use of course elements like modifying phrases, parallel structure, comparison, etc. in its construction. I was also challenged to try working from just one base clause. As Professor Landon explains, the purpose of the exercises is not to create ideal sentences to be worked into prose, but to exercise our skills at different forms, so that they come to us easily and naturally when those constructions could be of use in our writing.
Here is my sentence, only slightly edited as I went along:
The swallows burst from the barn at twilight, the old structure dry and splintered, creaking in the wind, its base crowded by weeds, concrete blocks, and broken ancient rusty machines, the dimming sky one dusk purpled by clouds, streaked with that sunset's orange, another night clamped suddenly down with the sun slipping quickly into the west, still another evening held so blue, so clear, so watery green at the edges, like a still spring with tiny silent bubbling in its depths, the birds swooping out in a curve up into the sky, in a whirl of wings, in a tossing of acrobatic antics, as if they waited for their cue--the rising music, the streaking stage lights, the crowd's anticipation--to begin their daily dance.Come join us on the deck one sunset to see what I mean!