10.17.06

Cores 1-4:

I have been looking a lot at our blogging community. I have read and assessed posts. I have worked hard at making sure that everyone is adding, in his/her own way, to this unique opportunity for expression and authenticity. Over and over, I have been surprised at the level of sophistication and emotion that have been poured out onto keyboards both at home and at school. I want to continue this trend this quarter with a challenge for us to knit ourselves even closer together. To find the grassy commons of our digital written words. It is important that this community never become just a copy of what we would normally write down on paper. It must, instead, be the way in which we can all find connection to one another and connection to the outside world. Keeping with this goal, I have decided to put forth a Blogging Image Scavenger Hunt. What I mean by this is that I have collected a list of written images from blogs across our community. I have typed them out as my weekly authentic for this week. It is your job to find the posts within our blogging community that use these images. You must then create a post that uses each image in an authentic piece of your own writing while linking to each other post in the process. Go to my weekly authentic for an example.

Blogging Image Scavenger Hunt

I love looking for fresh images, ones that I haven’t used before in my writing. The trouble is that cliches are so much easier. I can talk about finding needles in a haystack or being dead as a doornail, but these things lack passion, they lack authenticity.

So, I have taken it upon myself to look for better images. And what place is better for this kind of quest than in our writing community? In fact, I know of no other venue so creative and outlandish as to have writing about both ice-block feet and magical coins and keys.

To me, this high level of diverse thought is a direct challenge. It is a test to see how well we can hold together such fantastic ideas while all the while knitting closer together this community of writers. So, I put it to you. Can you find and put the following images together in one of your own authentic posts and link to all of the images that you have found to be useful? If you are the first person to post their scavenger hunt weekly authentic with correct links to each of the written images that you find, you will have the choice to drop any missing assignment you like, take home any book that you like from my bookshelf, or get a gift certificate for a pizza from anywhere you like. There will be five other prizes for the best scavenger hunt entries, so don’t feel like you have to rush through. Also, I would encourage everyone to comment on the posts that they find throughout this process, just to show the writers how much you appreciate their contributions to our community.
Let me first give you an example of what I am talking about:

Images-

  1. Salt marks around the eyes (tears).
  2. A flooded parking lot.
  3. Ring of smoke.

I hoped that she couldn’t smell the salt, the eerie distaste in my mouth and around my eyes. I hoped that she didn’t know where I had been, but she could probably tell from my waterlogged sneakers. She had told me not to go out in the deluge that threatened even my eyesight. She had said that I would lose more than I would gain. She was right. She was always right.

This time, though, I knew I had to go. I had to leave, to get away. So, I took my favorite jacket, the one dad gave to me before he moved across the country. It didn’t really protect me from the elements, but it sure did protect me from my mental environment. I left her in her ring of smoke, holding on to the last cigarette she would ever need.

Now you try this Blogging Image Scavenger Hunt for yourself (you must use at least six images):

Images-

  1. A bell ringing.
  2. A dirty dog.
  3. Insomnia (lack of sleep).
  4. Broken bone or heart.
  5. The left side of the body.
  6. The beauty of snow.
  7. Running away.
  8. A roof.
  9. A pen or pencil.
  10. Mean brothers or sisters.

Update: You may now take a post your Scavenger hunt and look at the Scavenger Hunt Entries on our community navigator. Look for the posts that you would like to nominate as the best authentic image piece, which we will do next week. Prizes will be awarded at that time.

I want her to come…

When I was in high school, I was in Into The Woods. I sang and danced as the Wolf, lecherously hungry for little red riding hood. The whole play was about trying to get the thing you want most, and the more that I think about it, that is what life is all about too. Jack and his mother wanted money, Red Riding Hood wanted to make her grandmother happy, Cinderella wanted to get away from her sisters, and all I want is my daughter to come soon.

I want her to be here in my arms. I want to look at her and get to know her. I want her to be the perfect vision that I have seen for nearly ten months now. Is there anything that could happen now that I would care more about than my daughter coming. No, not a chance.

My mother told me that all my Kara has to do is to sit on the edge of the bed and put her hands on her stomach then say, “Baby out. Baby out.” I don’t see how it could not work. I just need my mind to switch over into “Dad mode.” I have seen glimpses of it when I am putting together Isabelle’s crib. I just can’t seem to make it stay. This overwhelming feeling of pride and hope. I want it to be with me always.

I am uncomfortably ready. Not uncomfortable in the sense that I don’t know what to expect. I don’t have the slightest clue of what to expect, but that is not why I am uncomfortable. I am uncomfortable because there is nothing left to do but wait. Sure, I could be planning lessons. I could be fixing the floor. I could be organizing the back room in the basement. I could, but I don’t care. I don’t care about anything but Isabelle.

She isn’t even here yet, and I am already willing to kill for her. I am willing to do anything to ensure that she is okay. There is no way to test this willingness except to put me into a situation of true peril, and I hope that never happens. I am confident, though, that were I to be faced with choosing to eat molten pieces of glass covered in anthrax and then jump from 1000 feet without a parachute or seeing my baby harmed in any way, I would pull up a glass of milk and choke the delicious glass down.

I just have one question. Not when, but why? As in why isn’t she here? Why isn’t she with me right now? Why is she waiting for one more instant? Doesn’t she know that I am ready. Doesn’t she know that I will give her a blessed love forever? Doesn’t she see the agony I am in just sitting here and typing out things that aren’t yet real when I could be looking at the only thing that matters to me right now? She should know. She should come. Now.

10.11.06

Core 1:

  1. Play vocabulary basketball to review for unit 7 quiz.
  2. Take unit 7 quiz.
  3. Do partnered good parts to fulfill quarter 1 requirement.

Core 2:

  1. Discuss-On: How did you tackle the sesquipedalian paragraph? What is your thought process when you encounter a seemingly impenetrable paragraph?
  2. Take a second look at the paragraph.
  3. Practice and act out a few sesquipedalian theater pieces.
  4. Do partnered good parts to fulfill quarter 1 requirement.

Core 3:

  1. Introduce tickets for The Trip To Essay Land.
  2. Practice writing thesis statements.
  3. Do partnered good parts to fulfill quarter 1 requirement.

Core 4:

  1. Collect Martin Luther King Speech Analysis.
  2. How did you attack reading The Declaration? What is your thought process when you encounter a seemingly impenetrable paragraph?
  3. Discuss the reasons for changes in the draft.
  4. Why was this document so successful? What in the language makes it so persuasive? (Word Choice, Figurative Language, Allusion, Sentence Structure, Concrete and abstract images.
  5. Do partnered good parts to fulfill quarter 1 requirement.

10.09.06

Cores 1-4:

  1. Talk about the Authenticity Awards for last week.
  2. Look at Authentic Assessment for blogs tomorrow.

Core 1:

  1. Write a paragraph review of this music video.
  2. Discuss reviews and sports writing:
    • Does looking at reviews and sports writing as a genre change the way that you think about both?
  3. Come back to vocabulary for Vocab Basketball.

Core 2:

  1. Discuss-On: How did you tackle the sesquipedalian paragraph? What is your thought process when you encounter a seemingly impenetrable paragraph?
  2. Take a second look at the paragraph.
  3. Practice and act out a few sesquipedalian theater pieces.
  4. Talk about being too tired to think.

Core 3:

  1. Write-On: Looking at your characterization sheet and your “video memory,” How many of your ways of characterization are present in your memory? Can you identify the ones that you used?
  2. Why is it important to characterize using all of the ways rather than just a few?
  3. Share video memories and characterizations.
    • What can we generalize about a character once we get to know him/her?
    • What can we generalize about Christopher (from the The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Nighttime)?
  4. Talk about being too tired to think.

Core 4:

  1. How did you attack reading The Declaration? What is your thought process when you encounter a seemingly impenetrable paragraph?
  2. Discuss the reasons for changes in the draft.
  3. Why was this document so successful? What in the language makes it so persuasive? (Word Choice, Figurative Language, Allusion, Sentence Structure, Concrete and abstract images.
  4. Talk about being too tired to think.

Too tired to think.

My last weekly authentic was ambitious and hopeful. It made a lot of observations in the hopes of coming to grand conclusion about where I am with my life right now. I’m afraid that after a week and a half, I am still no closer to distilling the wisdom of what I am feeling right now. I can, however, use simpler words. I can talk about being stressed out without the extended metaphor. I can talk about not getting things done when I had planned without the six syllable words. You see, I am too tired to write flowers and hope. I am too tired to sit here and wax poetic or anything else for that matter. I am too tired to think.

I don’t take this feeling lightly. Thinking is my favorite pastime. It is what I do when I am feeling bored. Think and write. Being too tired to think is torture, like seeing the cookie jar on the counter and being too small to reach it. And yet, the exhaustion of working through my ideas is too much for me right now. Mental drain is real, and every one of my formerly available faculties have been slowly sucked down. I haven’t even the ability to rub two brainĀ  cells together to create the warmth of wit.

So, what can I do when my smarts smart? I start to explain things that are really going on. I give a play-by-play of everything I feel, because I have no filter, no way of getting around the inevitable.

I have a pile of papers to grade.

I haven’t written the lessons for when my baby is born.

My wife can’t sleep.

My dog keeps pooping in the house.

My tile floor keeps breaking.

I haven’t done my homework for Language Theory.

I’m not sure what else I can say. These are the things that make my mind mushy. These things weigh upon me, piling themselves on top of one another. So many others too. Also. In addition. As well.

10.04.06

Cores 1-4:

  1. In partners, develop a rubric for assessing Weekly Authentics by asking yourself the following questions and answering them through brainstorming and note-taking (We will discuss many of them together, so you need to have a ready answer for when we bring it to the whole class):
    • What makes a blog post a good one?
      • In what ways/categories can a blog post be good?
      • Are some ways/categories more important than others?
    • In what ways should blog posts be assessed differently than paper and pen/pencil in-class writing?
      • How can we measure the “goodness” of a blog post?
      • Can you really measure authenticity?
    • How can we account for different types of blog posts?
      • Should we assess poems, stories, fiction, and non-fiction differently?
    • What does a 5 post look like and what does a 1 post look like?
      • Describe them.
  2. Assess my Weekly Authentics to test out our new “rubric.”
  3. Talk about the Authenticity Awards for this week.
  4. Talk about Thursday and Friday.