Lemon-Scented Bivouac  

Fatherly and, eventually, teacherly blather. Also: graphic design, baseball, synthetic fabrics, jug band music and, lord help us, the occasional politics.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003  

I have my student teaching assignment (for those of you who love long URL's, try a "view source" on that link). The moving parties are going to be tough -- there's a ferry involved. How about two beers and two pizzas for everyone involved?

In the meantime, I just finished a few nonsequential weeks in a third-grade classroom. I wanted to note that one student who wanted me to read her story handed me seven tinily-written newsprint pages with a BOOGER on the back page. (I know because my finger landed on something tiny and soft.)

Even without the boogers, the storywriting ability of third-graders is just astounding. Let me try to simulate:

It was a bright day in summer [They were told to put a setting in the story -- Ed.] Me and my cousin and my mom and my brother were going to the Mall! Then we went to the food court. Then we saw the Foot Locker. I wanted to go in but my mom said No I couldnt. Then we saw some people they were talking. Then we ate. I ate two tacos and my brother ate three tacos. My sister and her friends wanted to go to another part of the mall they said they would come back. Then ... [excerpted for the sanity of the reader -- Ed.] Then we went home. I ate a Dominos pizza for dinner and played Sonic DMX then played another game. Then I went to bed.

The awful thing is that these students were asked, by terms of a particular gawdawful writing program the district had bought to flog their miserable little stories over the landscape of two and a half months of daily writing classes. By the time I had seen them they were so worn out by their stories they became instantly cataleptic and pointless at the moment Writing Workshop began at about 10:45. The teacher I worked with thought it was her problem. Lord help us, could you write a story after instruction to write a "setting lead" followed by a "set up lead" that hinted at your "hot spot."

Just a complaint. The kids were quite sweet and generally fun to work with.

Elliott is crawling as of Sunday at 7:45 p.m.

  posted by Andy @ 10:46 PM §

Correspondent Eric points out that in the photo below Elliott bears a striking resemblance to Jonathan Winters:

  posted by Andy @ 10:28 PM §

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