Every time I teach a college literature class, I have to budget time in the syllabus to help my students unlearn the way they learned to read in high school. Atwood does a great job explaining the role a reader plays in constructing the meanings they find in a literary text. It’s all the fault of how we were taught in high school, in which the teacher had the benefit…
I am revamping an existing “News Writing” course so that it becomes “News, Arts and Sports Reporting,” and am thus trying to educate myself about sports writing. Good writing is engaging no matter what the subject is. This is a great example. The headline is written for an international audience. Without assuming that the reader already knows what a “Hail Mary pass” is, and without assuming that the reader knows…
Avoid trying to publicly shame a ballet mistress who can write.
This morning, someone pseudonymously spammed the parent email list at my daughter’s ballet school, with a scolding complaint about a delayed cast list. It read, in part: “We pay our fees on time…. We received the email to donate to the school’s fundraiser this week on time. But no cast List. This is a teachable moment to demonstrate that being on time, especially when a promise is involved, is important.”
The school’s response, posted about a half hour later, ended thus: “Emailing using an address we can not identify and failing to sign your email shows a lack of conviction. Failing to understand that it is a relatively easy thing to discover your identity through your IP address is another indication that your action was not thought through. If the lessons you wanted to teach here were your own ignorance, arrogance and cowardice, you’ve succeeded.”
The whole response is worth a sincere, rousing “slow clap”.
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.
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 just saw the following clickbait for an ongoing non-story in the technology world: “All the latest speculation about [topic X] in one place.” That’s less like a news headline and more like the punchline to a New Yorker cartoon. No, I did not click the link.
Great reporting from Christopher Goffard of the LA Times. Now she watched as her ruin seemed to unfold before her. It was enough to send her to jail, and more than enough to destroy her name. Source: She was the PTA mom everyone knew. Who would want to harm her?