Friday, April 18, 2014

The Writing Class

Every other year I teach a writing class at Brownsville Mennonite School where Jenny attends and Paul is principal.  We meet about twice a week for ten weeks.
This year's class had six girls and two boys.  We met in the church balcony.
My goal is always to get them over that "I can't write" mountain blocking their way.  If they come to the end of the classes feeling like they can take the ideas in their head and put them into words and then put the words on paper, I've been successful.

My biggest success remains our fine son Ben, who used to hate writing assignments so much that he would put them off way too long and then bring them home for homework.  When he had no choice but to get it done, he would flop on the couch, writhing and groaning and clutching his stomach like he was dying of appendicitis.  "I. . . juuuussstttt. . . cannnnntttt. . . dooooo. . . thiiiiiiisssss!!"

I demonstrated this to the class the other day, sitting up and very much toning it down, but they still looked at me with shocked and disturbed faces.

But Ben learned to not fear writing assignments and to analyze his ideas and gel them into sentences and set them in order on a paper, all while remaining calm and controlled.

My biggest success.  If he can, then so can anyone.

This week was the final class for this year.  As is customary, I told the kids to bring snacks, but all but one forgot, so we had Doritos, brownies, and tea.

What a fun bunch they have been.

There was an old lady named June
Who had dinner on top of the mooon.
But to her dismay
It just floated away.
So she said, "I'll be going back soon."
(by Jenny)
Trenton, who now believes me that I will post his picture just like this.
 Every year I have the kids write four-line poems describing each other.  Last week was a shower for Kayla Baker who is marrying Paul's nephew Justin next month.  I was told I can share some memories and thoughts at the shower, and I got to thinking....was there any chance?  With some digging I found it, the poem Justin had written about Kayla, seven years ago in writing class.

Kayla is a Baker
in more ways than one,
and when you eat something she made
it is very fun.

So I read it at the shower.  Sadly, I couldn't find the one Kayla had written about Justin.

I told the current class that who knows, I might do the same with their handiwork, some day.  They looked at each other and emphatically said, no, that wasn't happening.  Well, I said.  We will see. 
Ashley, Deana, Jenny

Janane and Eunice who prefers to go by Jess.  Jess homeschools but joined us for the class.

 "Jess" by Janane

Jess is very nice
but usually very quiet.
But when she gets going
She really is a riot.

 It seems that I have a reputation for waving my hands around when I talk.  This wasn't part of the curriculum, but I seem to have taught it well.

Trenton and Caleb

 from "David and Goliath" by Trenton, Caleb, and Mikala:
JESSE: Daaavviiid oh Dddddaaavidd where are you?
DAVID; Over here pops.
JESSE: Oh good I need you to run down to the battlefield like a good little boy and take this food to your brothers
DAVID: MMmmmmm smells like Buffalo Wild Wings!!!

(Later in Scene 3)
DAVID: Hey guys what's up?
BROTHER 3: Nothing much just fighting and killing people.
BROTHER 2: Hey what's that good smell?
DAVID: It's Buffalo Wild Wings!

Deana and Jenny
Caleb and Mikala
 Quote of the Day:
Trenton: What's wrong with this one?
Me: You were supposed to write a 4-line poem.  That has only three.
Trenton: It's haiku.

1 comment:

  1. This sounded like so much fun! I love to write, I wish you could've taught me.