Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Open Letter to Penny Kittle

Dear Penny,

I still hate writing.

But I am also still committed to being the best teacher I possibly can, so once again (even though we're almost a month into the school year, and that's WITH an extra-late start) I am resolving to post daily. It might not be here - probably over at Go Little Novelist - because I still want to make Epic Adventures about teaching.

I tell my students that once they've answered the question for the writing prompt, they can fill the rest of the page with whatever is on their mind. You know, as much as I have heard that getting students into the habit of writing will turn them into writers, I don't think it's really true. Because every time I sit down to write, I hate it. And I'm sure I've been writing for a good while longer than this crop has even been alive.

Blogging is its own beast. I mean, I bet I could write post after post about how much I hate writing. But then, who'd want to read that? And therefore, why post it? I guess it doesn't matter… it's not like I'm killing trees or anything. Except I *am* wearing the battery of my laptop down, and I'll have to charge it sooner. (I think. Who knows, maybe typing doesn't use up battery more than just sitting there does.)

About the only type of writing I don't mind is conversation. Like commenting back and forth on discussion boards … or sometimes in response to a blog post.

I'm starting to wonder if I've written enough. Is it okay to quit yet? We're actually on our way to school (don't worry, it's safe; the Hunk is driving) so I can't pull up an online word-counter. I mean, I've filled up the original screen in TextEdit and now I have a scrollbar on the side.

And I really don't have a lot more to say at the moment. Oooo, McDonald's. I don't know what it is about their food… it's not THAT good, but I like it a lot. At least the breakfast. A well-made Sausage-Egg-and-Cheese McGriddle is just delightful. I love the way the different tastes and textures all meld together. The sausage is just a little bit spicy, and countered by the sweetness of the syrup-nuggets in the little bun they use. The cheese adds a touch of saltiness, and the egg is bouncy and fluffy. It is just SO GOOD. And the Bacon-Egg-and-Cheese Biscuit is good in its own way. It's all savory, but it's different TYPES of savory, don'cha know.

But I have already had breakfast and of course now we're several miles on down the road. Hunk complains about idiot drivers. "Doofus-head!" he calls one. I am so glad i don't have to be the one driving. I like driving when I'm not feeling in a hurry to get somewhere. So, really, driving anywhere kind of sucks (because with gas as expensive as it is, who can afford to just drive around?) because even if I'm going to the store and I don't have to worry about them closing or anything, after I've gotten through checkout, I'm always looking forward to getting home.

By the way, I'm not (entirely) neglecting the Hunk. I am taking breaks for conversation. We're going to Disney World over fall break. WOOOO! Today is Disney Day for Spirit Week (homecoming - each day is themed, and we're encouraged to dress out) so we're bringing the bride-and-groom mouse-ear hats that we got on our honeymoon.

Disney World! Hurray! I can't wait. Even though I'm going to have to wait. (boo!) Also I've asked for professional leave to go to the 2011 NCTE convention as well, so definitely looking forward to that. It hasn't been approved yet, but I'm hopeful. I doubt I'll actually get any financial support, but then, I didn't last year, either. (Looks like I'll be packing sandwiches again!)

The Hunk asked about my writing. "Stream of consciousness?" "Yeah, kinda." I explained that because I want to be a better teacher, I need to become better at the elements of language. And the best way to get better at stuff is to DO it.

Hey, we're here at the school, so it's time to close up and head in. Bye!




Philip said...

"Stream of consciuosness" indeed. Who is this Penny Kittle and how come you write letters to her?

Clix said...

She's the author of Write Beside Them, an ELA PD book that suggests writing with your students.

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