Monday, August 30, 2010

The plunge

Well, I'm back at it. The first day with students is tomorrow. Today was spent in meetings, with about two hours to work in our classrooms. Fortunately I went in three days last week, or I would still be at school. I'm ready for tomorrow, and I know where I'm going and what I want to do, but I need to tweak some old handouts and generate some new ones before we can get there.

I'm planning to do a number of things differently this year. I'd like to use social media tools like Twitter and Ning. I want all my students to have Gmail accounts so they can submit writing via Google Docs. I'd like to do less evaluation of writing in exchange for more writing, more feedback, and greater emphasis on process.

I want to do more non-fiction reading, with students reading periodicals and magazines and newspapers and other credible sources as they become knowledgeable on things that personally interest them.

I plant to tweak the way I do outside reading books, and launch something called the occasional paper.

Plenty of ideas, and plenty to blog about. Stay tuned for updates.

Have a great year.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thank you, summer

Thank you, summer, for lazy mornings of blueberry-strawberry smoothies and iced coffee on the porch.
Thank you for The Wire, all five seasons consumed in less than two weeks.
Thank you for Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, allowing me to get lost in an alien world, save the galaxy from Saren and the collectors, and earn Paragon points.
Thank you for A Long Way Gone, The Kite Runner, Doing School, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and the first two books in the Tales of the Otori series.
Thank you for allowing me to catch up on my subscriptions to Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, Men's Journal, English Journal, Wired, Maximum PC, Computer Power User, Backpacker, and Vanity Fair.
Thank you for time to reduce my stack of Boston Sunday Globes.
Thank you for hoops in the driveway.
Thanks for a family Red Sox game.
Thanks for inspiring me to tie up the running shoes and hit the pavement.
Thanks for four glorious days on Vermont's Long Trail.
Thank you for Camel's Hump - the view was spectacular.
Thank you for time with my wife.
Thank you for time with my sister.
Thank you for time with my parents.
Thank you for Good Harbor Beach, riding and diving into waves.
Thanks for lobster rolls and fresh clam chowder and baked scallops.
Thanks for time to pause.
Thanks for time to reflect.
Thanks for time to recharge.
Summer, you will be missed, but you've done your work, and I am grateful.
Thank you.