Friday, December 09, 2005

Birthday blog

Seems like the older I am, the less aware I am that it's my birthday while it is. In fact, at one point last week, I had to do the math to figure out if I was turning 34 or 35 (it's 34) because I just don't think about it all that much.

Newspaper class found me going over preparation with the writers on covering the evening's Acoustic Cafe in the Student Activity Center.

Writing Workshop 6 was rather a mess. Not everyone had done their homework and those that had didn't quite finish so they continued the work in the computer lab. I had a lengthy debate with J. and L. about the difference between "being" a disease or disorder and "having" it. The character of Bruno isn't OCD, he suffers from OCD. You shouldn't say "I'm ADD" or "I'm so ADD today" but rather "I have ADD." My contrasting example was you'd never say "I'm so urinary tract infection today."

In New Traditions In American Literature class, we went over the chapter "4 Skinny Trees" in Sandra Cisneros' The House On Mango Street (the novel that my donuts/corpse simile mini-lesson came from). That chapter is one of the best ones in the book. Very short, very significant. Earlier in the week, there was excitement over the fact that the author responded to an email I sent her over the weekend.

The Writing Workshop 2 class was on the ball. The kids finished writing their alternate endings, which were needlessly gory. Ahh, the male 9th grader mind. Can't end a story without guns and brutal kicks to the head.

In Compostion class, we worked on recognizing and editing for redundancy. Hopefully I'll never have to see another "My mother's eyelashes are fake. When people ask her if her eyelashes are fake, she lies and says that they aren't, that her eyelashes are real but they're not." That's not an actual succession of sentences from student work but I wanted to provide a ridiculous example to give you the gist. It just seems like I'm undoing the negative effects of minimum word limits in previous writing exercises. Nevertheless, I end up giving minimum word limits to my younger students because otherwise they'll write a list in sentence form and exclaim "I'm done!" You just can't win.

Then I see my American Literature Survey class. This particular group is always on task and they are very curious about everything so it's a delightful way to end the day. Even when they're literally jumping off their desks, there are connections to significant points being made. However, I hid under my desk for a while during today's class discussion so that they didn't only look at me when they were talking.

More about the day's events to follow...

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