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Showing posts from November, 2015

Curse with a Purpose: Permission to Write Sh*t

I teach at an independent high school, and one of the courses I teach, Advanced Composition, is a class focused on lots and lots of process writing. While I'm a fan of basic decorum in a school setting, I do introduce students to a word that some may deem too vulgar for classroom discourse: sh*t. I say it a lot. I can't say this term is original by any stretch, and I'm not trying to curry favor with the kids by being that edgy, cool teacher who drops f-bombs, stands on desks, and makes students rip up their copies of Dickens while sounding my barbaric yawp (I prefer subtlety). But sh*t certainly has its purpose. Thanks to Bird by Bird author, Anne Lamott, "sh*t" has become a household word for the beginning of the writing process. She introduces writers--and writing teachers--to the concept of " Sh*tty First Drafts ." Lots of writing teachers make reference to this chapter of Bird by Bird , and many share in Lamott's philosophy: Now, practicall

The first post...

Like many approaching middle-agers and digital immigrants, I'm new to the blogging world. I read blogs; I comment on blogs; I like blogs--I even know that "blog" is shorthand for web log, so there ya go. While I hope to post about a range of topics, and hopefully focus in on issues of teaching and social justice, this first blog post is dedicated to my dog, Buster. Buster is a rescue dog--and his issues run deep. I used to be annoyed at those bumper stickers people had regarding their rescue pets, the ones that read: Who rescued who?  Mostly, I was annoyed because I went back and forth between whether the object of the verb should be "who" or "whom." But then when I came to the surface and got over my pretension, I thought of Buster. Buster doesn't care about the who/whom debate (most of my students don't either).  And when it comes to the notion that a pet can rescue his/her/their owner as much as an owner can rescue his/her/their pe