You’re so old…

We’re drawing to the end of the quarter and there is anxiety everywhere. I’ve tried to minimize the stress as much as I can, but when people care about their work, there will definitely be some moments.

Today, after looking at Eric Foner’s review of Annette Gordon-Reed’s work in the NYT, we played a game of “What’s Clapper worried about ?” I listed the three things that I’ve been seeing and asked them whether I should be worried.

“I’m worried that students aren’t taking notes on their sources.”
“I’m worried that students are writing on the fly, i.e., writing before they’ve gathered all their research.”
“I’m worried that some students are missing context; that they’re missing the forest for the trees.”

(I followed the conversation with a google form for kids to share back what they’re feeling good about and what they need help with…)

It was a rich discussion with many solid ideas…It’s always helpful when the students point at requirements and rubrics instead of the teacher. I think everyone felt better, including me. At least until someone said,

“You’re so old, you shouldn’t be worried about anything.”

That’s funny.

Meant to find this book today

Found this today ($2).

Here’s the opening line:

I learned a surprising thing in writing this book. It is possible to move away from a vast, unbearable pain by delving into it deeper and deeper — by “diving into the wreck,” to borrow the perfect words from Adrienne Rich. You can look at all the parts of a terrible thing until you see they’re assemblies of smaller parts, all of which you can name, and some of which you can heal or alter, and finally the terror that seemed unbearable becomes manageable. I suppose what I am describing is the process of grief.

Kingsolver, Barbara. Small Wonder (London: Faber and Faber, 2011), xii.