It was a great class. We wrote lesson plans, discussed how to teach a novel, how to evaluate a textbook for worthiness, learned to research schools as potential places of employment, studied English standards for Indiana, how to write letters of recommendation for kids, researched academic…
“Most of the debates in education circles about the use of vernacular language in classrooms focus on whether or not its use helps students learn traditional subjects better. From bilingual to hip hop education, the discussion often seems to boil down to the question of whether teaching Black students math in Black slang makes them do better in math, or whether teaching immigrant students in their original languages helps them grasp the basic concepts which all students in an industrial learning model are expected to grasp. It is only the most radical educators, I have found, who use slang pedagogically to ask deeper questions: Is the power of slang not to trick young people into learning what the school system originally wanted them to learn, but to point to the barrenness and irrelevance of traditional learning to their lives as oppressed people? Can we use the languages of our communities not to bolster traditional subjects, but to break them down, reveal them as disjointed both from one other and from our own experiences of the world?”—Learning the Vernacular: Slang in the Classroom « Cooperative Catalyst (via adventuresinlearning)
1. Stop placing all the blame on other people for how they interact with you. To an extent, people treat you the way you want to be treated. A lot of social behavior is cause and effect. Take responsibility for (accept) the fact that you are the only constant variable in your equation.
2. Stop being lazy by being constantly “busy.” It’s easy to be busy. It justifies never having enough time to clean, cook for yourself, go out with friends, meet new people. Realize that every time you give in to your ‘busyness,’ it’s you who’s making the decision, not the demands of your job.
3. Stop seeking out distractions. You will always be able to find them.
4. Stop trying to get away with work that’s “good enough.” People notice when “good enough” is how you approach your job. Usually these people will be the same who have the power to promote you, offer you a health insurance plan, and give you more money. They will take your approach into consideration when thinking about you for a raise.
I learned about National Novel Writing Month through my creative writing professor, Randon Noble, during my freshman year at American University in Washington, D.C. In October of 2006, almost everyone in my creative writing class decided to give NaNoWriMo a try, including me. Most people mentioned writing about home, dating, or other personal and realistic topics.
On the night of November 1, Edward P. Jones visited American University to read from his book, The Known World. During the Q&A, a student in the crowd told him that this was the first day of NaNoWriMo. When the student asked Mr. Jones if he thought someone could write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, Mr. Jones said absolutely not and if someone did, it wouldn’t be worth reading. After that book reading, I think half of my creative writing class decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo.