Tense for a Reason

July 29, 2007

With A Little Help from My Friends (Post #35)

Filed under: English Teacher Stuff, Me Me Me — Tense @ 1:00 am

I am once again relying upon the kindness of my blog friends to help me get through the next 7 hours.  Here is a question that came from Chatty: “Why did you become a teacher and one of English?”

I can’t remember a time in my life when I ever wanted to be anything other than a teacher, and I knew that I wanted to teach English by age 9.  In fact, I told everyone so.  I think it was the only profession I could think of in which a person gets paid to be bossy, and I’m damn good at being bossy, always have been.  I’ve also always had a rather large vocabulary (I read a lot), and I learned early how to draw on it in order to say what I want to say.  With the right words, I believe I can talk to ANYONE.  Furthermore, I’m a pretty good listener, and I’ve learned that this is a valuable quality in the classroom; but sometimes, listening is not enough, you have to be able to observe your students, and if they can’t get the words out to ask the question for which they want an answer, good observation skills can help you figure out what they’re trying to say.  All of these are qualities which I’ve learned and tried to perfect over my 33 years, and I believe they’ve all led me to my chosen profession.

July 28, 2007

Tougher Than I Thought (Post #20)

Filed under: Blogathon, English Teacher Stuff — Tense @ 5:30 pm

So the hardest thing about this Blogathon so far has been the short amount of time which I have to write a post. (I’m sure that later I’ll change my tune and say that staying awake is the hardest part.)  See, it usually takes me about an hour to write a post (if it’s really long, it will take more time), and then I edit my own writing for probably 30 minutes afterward.  I am my own worst critic.  I walk away from my posts and re-read them when I come back.  Then I make any changes I feel are necessary.  Then I go surf blogs, and come back and usually make more changes.  …It sometimes takes me 5 times of going away and coming back before I get my post the way I want it.  This Blogathon isn’t giving me the time to do that.

Maybe this is a good thing, though.  I’ve read and heard published writers say that you should just write, forget about editing and grammar and punctuation (the horrors!) until you’re finished saying what you have to say, and then go back and fix all that stuff.  I’ve never been able to do it.  English teacher isn’t just a job title for me; it’s part of who I am.  And the use of good grammar is part of my character; it’s ingrained in my being!  (Okay, I think I’ve made my point.)  Anyway, perhaps this having to make quickie posts will be good for me in that way.  I’m getting good training on quenching my overwhelming desire to edit.

One of My Favorite Things (Post #8)

Filed under: English Teacher Stuff — Tense @ 11:30 am

Kizz suggested that I post some of my favorite poems and talk a little bit about them. Yet another excellent idea, so here we go.

A VALEDICTION FORBIDDING MOURNING.
by John Donne

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
“Now his breath goes,” and some say, “No.”

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
‘Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th’ earth brings harms and fears ;
Men reckon what it did, and meant ;

But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers’ love
—Whose soul is sense—cannot admit
Of absence, ’cause it doth remove
The thing which elemented it.    
(more…)

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