Sunday (Evening) Post

“Pur Spellrs of the World Unyte!”  This might have well have been written by students in my Kid’s Class (Reading Improvement) this past week as we finished the course “except for the shouting” (as my Grandmother used to say when it was all over… ).This week’s session will be an hour only, with every activity a race, a tournament, or a competition, with plenty of prizes for all.  We will crank up the course again March 9th for a seven week run (taking the week of Spring Break off) before public school ends. So many kids today are shipped off to relatives or to “the other” parent for the summer, that I’m not sure any of the graduates from either RI I session could attend a RI II session during the summer. Summer plans will just have to wait for that–summer!

In the meantime…

What I have finished this past week: A delightful, oftentimes hilarious, fast-paced novel, Small Admissions,which was originally a play, and was my “just for fun” reading for the week. I will review it soon; and Lab Girl (reviewed yesterday) a read I would recommend to anyone who appreciates a good story, excellent writing and an outstanding memoir.

I am continuing to read: Racing in the Rain, which I had to put aside to read library books that were due and The Lowland, a story of India which I am also eager to get back to.

I have also begun Girl in Translation, a coming-to-America story, which I started because the two books mentioned above were in the other room, and I was too lazy (and feet hurt too bad) to walk in there and get one of them.

This week in my Advanced Writing class we begin discussing argumentative writing: What makes an argument? What are credible sources? How does plagiarism happen? How do I prevent procrastination when it comes to starting the argumentative researched paper that is due after Spring Break? Hopefully many will begin their final papers over Spring Break and not leave their tasks until the push after mid-term, for the paper will be written outside of class, and several other written assignments (not counting their blog postings) will have to be done simultaneously with the final paper. Learning time management is something these natural multi-takers must take on. One can hope…Never give up hope!

In light of beginning to talk about argument I hope to pass on these “jewels” to my students: Please argue in a way that will NOT cause me to say, “Don’t make any more points; I’ve made up my mind already.” It is good to SEE both sides of an issue, it’s good to see merits in both sides, but an good essay will TAKE a side and argue it, explaining why the “other side” is just WRONG. I have actually received argument papers that gave both sides and ended with, “What do YOU think?” Also, be receptive to constructive criticism.  Don’t tell me, “I like criticism ; just keep it positive and flattering.”  Finally, if you face failure on the rough draft, don’t take the childish attitude, “If at first you don’t succeed…go play!” Instead, look in the wastebasket, salvage what’s usable and try, try again–maybe from scratch.

It promises to be an interesting week, and I will probably have the need for some “escape reading.”

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

6 thoughts on “Sunday (Evening) Post”

    1. Am reading your comment at 4:20 am, and believe me, my feet are up…on the sea chest, which serves as my coffee table. They are worn out from a shopping trip yesterday. I received a little unexpected money and it burned a hole in my pocket until it could get out and into the hands of some retailer. Mission accomplished. Happy Valentine’s Day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And you, Rae:). Though in order to be REALLY resting, perhaps you should be asleep at 4.20 am?? Though I’m aware it’s a case of pots and kettles as I’m also something of an insomniac:). Glad to hear the shopping expedition was a success!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. If I can just get them over wanting a formula/pattern/rubric to fill in (Thanks to standardized testing and teaching to the test) and help them think on their own and maybe even think outside the box! Sigh….


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