24 August 2010

Note from yesterday:  I’m attaching the 10 Discussion Commandments that you created yesterday.  I’ll also post it on the “Quick Docs” tab and live in the classroom.

Today we’ll have our first lab day…though we aren’t really going to start formal writing yet.  Instead, we’ll talk about our Writing Day Routines and then practice one of them that I’m calling a timed write.

This timed write will be focused on the reading you did last night.  Then, I want to use your timed write as a jumping off point for some discussion about the texts.

As one way of addressing our work with “school”–and all the blessings and problems of an institution–I’m going to explain writing procedures in this class (Honors and AP Writing).  I’ve designed this process to address some of the typical problems with writing in an institutional setting, while still focusing on the kind of rigor you need to develop as writers.

We didn’t actually get to talk about the writing procedures.  That’s okay.  We will.  Our discussion was more important–and with a higher rate of participation than our last one (woo hoo!  way to use those ten commandments!)

Lastly, I’ll pass out a copy of tell you to look on the blog for Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway.  It’s a simple story to read, but a TOUGH story to understand…in a large part because of Hemingway’s “Iceberg Theory”–

If a writer…knows enough of what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows and the reader….will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.  —Ernest Hemingway in Death in the Afternoon

In other words, Hemingway believed that if he was “writing truly enough,” the little bit that he gave us in his stories would be like the part of an iceberg exposed above the water.  The real heft and power of the story is underneath the words.

I’d like you to read “Hills” for tomorrow, and I want you to write 1-2 sentences that explain what you think the couple is talking about.  Like you were supposed to do with the Radiohead video, I want you to base your interpretation on evidence from the text.  In addition, please do not consult outside resources–we’ll do that later.  I want to know what you’re able to figure out with just your brain.  Think of this as another way to practice thinking–and you can’t fail unless you don’t try.

Reminder that you need a JOURNAL notebook starting tomorrow.

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2 thoughts on “24 August 2010

    • Gabe, I’m glad you’re confused! I know that’s a weird thing to say, but confusion is a sign that you’re paying attention to the reading and wrestling with it. I can’t wait to talk with you all about it tomorrow!

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