21 April 2011


Many of you may recognize the poster on the left from my classroom. Cleaning out a filing cabinet one year, Ms. Beeley happened upon this little treasure, which sends a great message but is, like just about anything given enough time, hopelessly dated. But, at the same time, it's charming because all of those kids are incredibly enthusiastic (except for the one in the middle row of the center who looks like she got hit in the head with a sandbag just prior to the photographer snapping the picture). When my journalism students mentioned that they wanted to recreate the picture at the beginning of the year, I laughed at the idea but quickly forgot. Besides lots of students will often say they want to do something in a whimsical flight of fancy and never follow through with it.

However, this is the class that met every deadline in order to see me do a backflip. These are the students that have impressed me as a group in ways that I can't even manage to put into words. These are the students that have made my job the easiest that it's ever been in my six years as adviser to the Brave Times. Should I have really been surprised that they followed through with their intentions? Of course not. I don't think I was prepared for how much it would make me laugh.

This poster is going to be a high water mark for any future class to live up to. Seriously, future Brave Times staff, this is what you will be measured against so the onus is on you to make a bigger impact than the "Say NO to drugs and YES to Journalism" folks.

Last Thursday, due to the STAR testing schedule shortened period, you received a work day.

Friday, we began reading chapter 6 of To Kill a Mockingbird and you were assigned to read through chapter 8.

Monday, you took a quiz on chapters 6 through 8 and we then worked on creating a thesis statement for chapters 1 through 5.

Tuesday was another shortened day due to STAR testing, and we used the time to continue revising the thesis we started on Monday.

Wednesday, I was under the weather and you had a reading day to hopefully finish chapter 11.

Today, you had a work day to give you time to complete the Character Chart and Themes worksheet for chapters 1-11 along with ORU 7, all of which are due tomorrow.

Last Thursday, you continued working on the questions from Tom Wolfe's chapter of The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test called "What Do You Think of My Buddha?" during the shortened period for STAR testing.

Friday, you finished working on the aforementioned chapter and started to work on questions for section two.

Monday, you finished the section two questions, and we discussed One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest up to that point.

During our final shortened period on Tuesday, we viewed Jill Bolte Taylor's TED talk on her experience having a stroke. I enjoy having you watch this short speech because it ties in to how Ken Kesey explains his experience in dealing with writing the first chapter of Cuckoo's Nest and gives us some insight into how Chief views the world. Living in the moment without context and then immediately seeing the world in full view using both sides of one's brain has much in common with how Chief views the world in such a figurative way. Chief feels the connections the world shares, much like Taylor describes, and he dislikes the way machinery attempts to make everyone the same. Her book, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, is available in paperback. I plan to read it this summer so I'll be able to have a review up then.

I felt a little under the weather on Wednesday, so I stayed home and you had a reading day. The day allowed me to get caught up on some grading, so at least there's that.

Today, you took the quiz covering chapters 5 through 14. We only had time enough to grade the quiz and not do my planned activity, which we'll get to next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment