Item 1 - Writing Instruction
As you all know, I teach developmental English at the local CC...Developmental English is code speak for "Bonehead" or "Remedial" English. Really, I don't judge... There are lots of reasons why people get through public school, and heck, through life, and don't know how to write very well. Some might even say I would be among them... Have you seen how many times I rely on parentheticals and ellipses to make a point. What kind of lame-ass writing is that?
So, this past week, I was teaching students how to use specific and vivid examples in their writing,* and I was using a model essay from the textbook to illustrate how to use effective examples. This particular model is from an article that was, according to the textbook, published in Health Magazine in July/August 2001.** It's about how scents have a psychological effect. The first paragraph is about how scents can boost confidence, and it gives some examples of how athletes who were given something to smell had measurable changes in heart rate and blood pressure, which led to better performance.***
The second paragraph in the article reads:
Other scents have the effect of calming us down. When you're anxious, sniff something that you will associate with a more relaxed time in your life, suggests Will A Wiener, PhD., a psychologist and director of the Institute for Performance Enhancement in Manhattan.
Seriously... WILL A. WIENER? Director of the Institute of PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT?
I think the textbook company is just effing with me.
I am so ready for spring break.
Item 2 - Comedy Workout
A few months ago, Irene loaned me a set of P90X CDs, and they sat on my bookshelf. This week I started (with much, much, much help from Mel, who swears the workout, and has been really happy with the results, 'so I figure, why not) to workout with them.
They're good comedy. I started on Monday with the "Back and Chest" CD, which required me to do pushups of various kinds--regular; wide stance; military; inverted (feet on a chair); hands together in a diamond; and one particularly elegant one which is sorta a combination of the yoga position, downward facing dog, to a pushup, to a cobra stretch.
Would you like to know how many "girl" pushups I can actually do.
I can do 2...sorta...but it's not pretty.
Mel promises me that I'll get better, but for now, I'm glad that there was nobody watching me.
Item 3 - Play Week
My kids are again in a youth theater production. This year they are doing Peter Pan (I think I've written for the last three years about my kids participation in this), which pretty much means our lives are upended this week and our total existence revolves around getting kids to the theater, picking them up from the theater, and being at the theater to watch them perform.
The whole cast...that is a kid hoisted up on wires playing Peter Pan. It's a pretty amazing production.
DramaGirl after opening night last night...Turbo was OUT OF THERE so fast, I didn't get a photo of him as a pirate...but no fear, there are more performances this weekend. I'll get a shot eventually.
* To be honest, I never really get why making up examples is so difficult.
Thesis: I had a crappy run
Examples: Let me describe to you through endless concrete, specific, and detailed examples, the complete and total extent of that particular crappiness****.
What's so difficult about that?
** Even though it is full of excellent and entertaining examples, I could never use examples from Glaven's blog because he uses lines like Fuckety, fuck, fuck, fucking fuck, and even though this is a college class, that would still probably not fly.
*** So, if we all start sniffing ourselves or each other before a race, does that mean we will run better? I think someone should test this hypothesis this weekend. I would, but I'll be at the theater.
****If you need a model really good examples, look at Glenn's blog in which he thoroughly and convincingly details his experiences running the LA marathon. I'm thinking of using it as a model for future classes. Can I Glenn? And yes, I just footnoted a footnote. What of it?*****
*****GAH! (for you G)