If your writing teacher lets you revise your first draft, don’t just submit a cleaner, less-beat-up version of the same beat-up sedan. Instead, take it apart, hold each piece in your hand, and make your second draft a pink monster truck, a time-traveling DeLorean, or a solar-powered jetpack. That’s revision.
My new hero is NPR’s Michael Oreskes. Scott Detrow had a terrific story today about Donald Trump’s appearance at a Black church. The pastor called Trump on the carpet for attacking Hillary Clinton when he had promised not to be partisan. Trump later attacked the pastor and misstated key facts about what actually happened. Why was this story terrific? Scott was one of a handful of reporters in the church…
I begin a class on “Bartleby the Scrivener”: “Maybe I should do what Bartleby does. Maybe instead of teaching this class, I should protest an impersonal environment, and calmly decline to do what society expects of me. But I don’t have the guts to do that. Okay, who’d like to start the discussion?”
Scene: I am driving my teenagers to an audition.
Girl: Peter, did you leave your sideburns?
Boy: I didn’t shave at all.
Me: Good. A beard is appropriate for this play.
Girl: Fiddler on the Roof is a *musical*.
Every year I rewatch Taylor Mali’s passionate defense of “What Teachers Make.” As part of a sequence of assignments designed to help students write a more engaging personal literacy narrative, I use Mali’s speech. Yes, it’s my job to teach composition, but composition is a term that applies to music, photography, choreography, athletics, etc. Students already have an intuitive sense of what makes a good Vine, what makes a good…
I don’t follow sports, so I don’t feel fully equipped to comment on the issue, but when a friend raised it via an email I thought I’d share my thoughts about the rhetorical and dramatic nature of patriotism and protest. I have often wished I could attend a concert/literary discussion where singers performed the national anthems of countries from trouble spots around the world, and then people from those countries…