Thursday, September 13, 2012

How to Amaze Your Students

My students are always awed and amazed that I can read Chaucer and sound just like this. Such fun.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I thought I'd post a little more of the writing I've been doing with students. My subject (chosen by my writing group) was anger. I decided to mimic the style of J. Ruth Gendler's The Book of Qualities.


When Anger walks into a room, everyone is instantly on guard. You never know quite what to say and just how to act around her. It’s not just her face, heavily scarred from adolescent battles, or even her reputation as a fighter that silences everyone. No, it goes deeper than that.

Some even say that she has a split personality, because at times she is cold and hard as year-old ice cream and just sits back and stares and stares and stares, while at other times, she is a lit firecracker and only the slightest word or touch will set her off.

Anger spends her days sharpening knives at the local hardware store. All day, every day, grinding, grinding, grinding. She’s very good at what she does. She can put a long, slow edge on a knife or a quick, sharp one, but in the end, they all cut about the same.

She is meticulous about everything she hears and sees and does. She remembers every little detail and insists on bringing those little details up over and over again. She definitely never forgets a wrong, perceived or real. She likes truth but insists that the truth be her own truth. She has no room for anyone else’s point of view.

Sad to say, Anger’s never been very popular.  Nobody wants to see Anger drive up to the house, especially right before dinner.  All the same, she seems to show up frequently, and no one is ever quite sure how she got there. Even though Anger doesn’t have many friends, Pain and Regret do follow her around and often seem to arrive just as she’s leaving.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Discussion vs. Argument (or Just Plain Put-Downs)

For everyone I know and love--keep this in mind this election season:
I really don't think I could say it any better than she does.