OK, so Cathie English, the teacher with whom I’m collaborating on the This-I-Believe-Nebraska-Alabama exchange, shared her essay on gDocs yesterday, and I totally love it. It’s gorgeous. And now I want to completely change the topic of my essay, and I don’t like my essay at all…and, and, and….this is a pretty typical writer’s response, I’m thinkin’, when the writer has not been working on her essay… Ahem. But I may change my topic. Maybe. We’ll see.
We’ve started the “This I Believe” section of my classes, and so far, I’m inspired by students’ readings of essays they’ve selected from the This I Believe website. Yesterday, folks handed in homework on which they listed three essays they selected: one from the contemporary essays group (these have been recorded on NPR), one from the 1950s group, and one from the essay database organized by topic.
Our discussion in class and a good deal of what students wrote on their homework seemed more substantive, more real. I don’t know how to explain what I mean by that. Maybe — it’s because we’re talking about things that matter.