READING MEMOIRS

Literacy and Me

For the second time in my years of teaching Advanced Writing, I am requiring my students to read and review a memoir. Supposedly, this reinforces what they learned in Composition Two about writing reviews. Secretly, however, I have done this because I discovered some students had never read a whole book all the way through! Shocking, right? These students are juniors and seniors at a university. We discuss the difference between a memoir and an autobiography and the other time I required a memoir, I had them write one about themselves. I will never do that again. What I learned about my students was not off-putting, but the emotional baggage of what they revealed about things and situations that they had experienced in their short lives (most are between 21 and 30 years old) crippled my objectivity at grading their papers and making decisions teachers have to make about their…

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Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus 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."

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