Writings and Editings XVIII
Busy closing out the semester and working on classes and grading and Normal School and Burnt House and about a jillion other important crucial worthwhile projects...and my students drew pictures of American Eagles....
Writings and Editings XVII
Spring break. I've been mostly resting and recovering from strep, but I've also been doing a few W&E things....
…is just a collection of PowerPoint slides.
Years ago I was teaching a section of the American lit survey, Colonial through Civil War, and I found myself facing a really common problem: that when at the end of class I said, “Okay, for next time—” and before I could say “we’ll be reading Emerson" or whatever, the room would be filled with the sudden thunder of Young Scholars getting ready to flee—closing their books and laptops, sticking things into their backpacks, moving their desks, talking…and no one—not even me!—could hear the detail of my reminder of the next reading assignment. It really is common—I remember this happening back in my long-ago undergrad days, too.
It was very annoying. But what to do?
I began talking about the assignments at the beginning of class. “Okay, today we’re reading Emerson. On Wednesday you’ll be happy to know that we’re not reading Emerson—we’re reading Whitman.” (I had a lot of sad Emerson-haters in that class).
The oral announcement at the beginning of class worked better at the beginning of class than at the end. But then I had my brilliant innovative idea—put the schedule on slides!
So I did, and it works great. I’ve been doing this now for about six years or so.
But no one ever really acknowledged the greatness until this week, when a Young Scholar said, “I really like your slides.”
Damn. That’s just about the nicest thing anyone has ever said to/about me.
So now I’m sharing my brilliant innovation with the world. Below are the slides for my current ENGL 345 class, “Writers’ Studies: Prose.” I post the previous week, the current week, and the coming weeks, along with anything else the scholars need to know….
(I just noticed a typo on the slide for the 26th--but that just adds to the authenticity of my presentation, no?)
Writings and Editings XIV
Writings and editings and teachings, too. Spent most of this week preparing for the coming semester. Still, work was done....
Writings and Editings XII
Always working on something. Diagrammed a story for students. Wrote some teaching stuff, wrote on the novel. Was the subject of a student tweet. Got a box of books for the Texas Book Festival. And, for some damn reason—my racing mind jumped ahead and I began outlining the next book, and here I haven’t finished the one I’m working on….
Lowell Mick White
Author of the novels Normal School and Burnt House and Professed and That Demon Life and the story collections Long Time Ago Good and The Messes We Make of Our Lives.