Monday, January 21, 2008

Wave That Wand And Wonder Comes Out, Alliteratively Speaking.

My students, this new semester, seem like a nice bunch so far. I have the usual few young people fresh out of high school, and the usual many adults who've been cruelly let down by a corporation that had promised to take good care of them forever but reneged the minute things got tough even though the CEO's still get all their money downsized and who are trying to learn new skills so they can make a living for their families since their old skills are no longer viable in this new computerized society.

We've only met once so far, but I can tell it's going to be a good semester.

Tomorrow, they'll get their first writing assignment. I'll whine on here about how I've got this huge pile of essays to grade but to be perfectly honest, my students have something to say and I love to find out what that is. Their diversity of age and background keeps us all interested almost every moment. I don't remember a single class at this college wherein I didn't learn something really important and new; I only hope the students can say the same.

Yes, once in a while I get an essay so truly terrible that my brain starts throb, but most of the time there is viable gold in those piles of raw ore.

Here's the thing, or one of them, anyway: my students enter this beginning writing class believing that they personally have nothing to say that anybody would be interested in hearing about. My job, besides teaching them how to use the language properly, is to convince them that each and every one of them holds the key to stories and advice and examples and information that no other person in the universe knows except them. If they don't tell us, we'll never know. If they don't tell us, the world will always be lacking a wonder.

The pen in their hands isn't just a tube filled with ink; it's a magic wand that will show the world what is inside the head of the person holding that wand. Wave that wand and wonder comes out.

All of the students at Hogwarts were capable of producing a Patronus, but no two were alike. Why should they be? No two students are ever alike. We produce magic and wonder and creativity according to our uniqueness.

There is a Patronus in every student. Let us not encourage our students to produce the same sort of thing as the student next to them. One student's Patronus is another student's spell-gone-wrong.

One more thing: if you really don't know what a Patronus is, shame on you.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:02 PM | |


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