Sunday, November 18, 2018

Denoted, denoting...

This is the week when I begin to actively transition my English Composition I students into English Composition II readiness, with a review and deeper discussion of all the "word stuff" we've been working with so far. "Denotation" and "connotation" seem to be new worlds to many of these students. The idea that a word or phrase can mean more than it means seems to mystify them.

Meanwhile, in Literary Masterpieces I, we'll have another Medieval riddle poem to wonder over—one with no known solution, but which may get us looking in our minds' eyes toward the night sky. One which might transport us and our daring steeds across the perilous sea and back, safely, gesund.

And there are research papers to grade, and annotated bibliography drafts to edit, and all sorts of word stuff like that. Onward we go!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Workshop, Laughter

Yesterday I facilitated a workshop in which we used collage as a way into poetry or other forms of creative writing (such as memoir). Most of the collages we created used at least a little text, around which colors and forms and textures suggested further meaning.

I have given numerous workshops in the past, always focusing on some aspect of poetry: haiku and other short forms; line breaks; figurative language; the haiku aesthetic...I can't recall how many different topics I've offered as workshops. What I can remember is the quiet, as a prompt was presented and then ten minutes or so of quiet, individual writing happened. Quiet, then a little sharing and feedback, then another prompt followed by more quiet...and thus the hours passed.

Yesterday's collage workshop was not quiet. Exchanging ideas and materials; telling stories; laughing—especially laughing. A workshop filled with laughter! What a revelation. There was a layer of art at table-top level, on top of which were layers of laughter.

What a glorious morning! Thank you, everyone who attended. Thank you, everyone who laughed!