The Human STain

“…how easily life can be one thing rather than another and how accidentally a destiny is made…on the other hand, how accidental fate may seem when things can never turn out other than they do.”

(As I read the third round of Gatsby essays, this time on the American Dream, and feel the same ideas bubbling up, many of which flow directly from a google search of “Gatsby American Dream” or “Gatsby Opportunity”, I’m wondering if next year if I shape the essays as a response to quotes like this. ).

Roth, Philip. The Human Stain.(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000), pp.125-126.

Great Line on introductions

What the reader wants to know is not what you plan to say but where you stand. They need some assurance that your point of view promises fresh illumination. They listen to your tone of voice, which conveys your intentions more quickly and clearly than a summary outline of the forthcoming composition. A vigorous introduction, therefore, will seek to establish not so much the subject matter to be addressed as the author’s way of addressing it. It will announce or at least prefigure the argument the author plans to pursue.

Lasch, Christopher. Plain Style: A Guide to Written English. Edited by Stewart Weaver. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.

Classroom verbs

If I were running PD, I might try this activity. First step: make a list of all the verbs that describe what’s happening in your classroom. Then try to cluster them together.

Second step: Now do it for zoom school. It’s much harder to come up with actions and much easier to come up with descriptions. (The other option would be to run and make copies and then cross out the verbs that aren’t happening in zoom school.).

Third step: Knowing that everyone is utterly exhausted and frustrated, what are three concrete things could you do to bring the verbs from the first drawing to your Zoom class?

With my advisory, or even one of my classes, I’d love to see both student versions of this, i.e., sleeping, watching (TV), Tiktok’ing, surrendering/giving up, screaming (at the technology).