Thursday, March 09, 2006

refresh: when life returns to the classroom

Today, in class, a student wrote about his observations of the newly formed rivers in the street and the way the water's current carved tiny caves beneath the surface of the snow. Another student wrote about the exhaustion that he can't seem to shake and the self-contained solitude he's built out of his 3 room apartment. Someone else wrote about the thoughts at the back of his mind that he can't quite get to, the ones that are now going to bother him the rest of the day. Then there were the observations on ice and walking, those neglected bare patches that somehow evaded the sprinkling of sand. I wrote about the thick snow, the way huge chunks fell from powerlines and weighted branches, compressing and encapsulating my world into a dense forest within the space of 3 trees. We fell into fits of laughter after someone read their observations on the girl in class wearing sunglasses. Afterwards she explained that she had been the victim of snow falling from a pine tree. More laughter.

We talked about writing today. Not citing sources. Not paraphrasing. Not researching. Not introducing direct quotes. None of it. We took a breather, a step back from the endless technicalities and instead talked about learning to pay attention and to communicate what's going on.

It was some of the best writing of the semester. Oh, and it felt good to remember what is most important: that we are Writers--every single one of us--something that, I feel, "theory" and regurgitated pedagogical justifications too often neglect.

1 comment:

Loralee Choate said...


It is easy to get way too wrapped up in the red-tape of writing and forget the primal source and joy of it all...

P.S. I've been wondering for QUITE some time how y'all do those freaking lists. I'm techno-hopeless...