kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
So, my class is working on description...today I spent an hour drilling into their heads the ways in which description can be wrongly used to show our inner judgments. Sexism, racism, etc...it was a hard sell. To some extent I fell back on "just don't do it." I mean, I did get them to realize that if we describe somebody as "a black man" then what we're saying is that the man's race is his primary characteristic. But I don't think they really GOT it.

I'll work on that lesson plan for next time. Sigh.

I had more luck with getting them to pick out the descriptions that are relevant to a story -- for example, if you're writing about a mom whose son died of cancer, the color of her eyes is probably not relevant. But the way she talks about her son might be...

It was an uphill battle. To be honest, these kids are so far from being able to describe things that it's almost ludicrous to teach them. They're still trying to learn how to tell a story coherently.

At the end of class, after each student had developed a one sentence description of their main subject for the feature story they're writing this week, my Difficult Student turned in his notes. (As did everybody else.) He was supposed to have interviewed everybody necessary for his feature story. He turned in three sentences. He called the police about a plane crash. The quote: "I can't tell you anything else."

Oh dear.

I'm gonna guess this story ain't gonna go so well...

And I'm terribly afraid I'll have to check it for plagiarism. Argh.

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Kathleen

January 2017

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