I keep meaning to post an entry, but sometimes I just have to break down and watch “American Idol.” I feel such shame, and yet I cannot stop.
It’s “President’s Week” here in the NYC public school system. That means I’m getting precious little work done while falling deeper into debt. Oh wait. Now I get the connection.
I did my first school visit last week at The Little Red Schoolhouse on Bleecker Street in the Village. I taught a writing workshop to a group of 5th-8th graders. I’d cut out lots of phrases and words from magazines and told them they could take about five and use them to jump-start their writing in any way they liked, i.e., they could put them all together to form poetry, or use one or two to start a story, place them all in the story, etc. (Thanks, Susanna, for the great suggestion.)
The kids were really great–some very nice writing in the bunch. The 5th graders were quite enthusiastic and concerned with following “the rules”:
(very serious face)”What if we only want to use one and write a whole story about that?”
(Your family will be driven from their home and you will live in shame forever.)
“Can I make a dialogue out of my phrases?”
(Yes, but I’d like it in the original Swedish, please.)
“It is okay if I paste these in my writer’s notebook?”
(FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, NO! DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT WILL MEAN? JESUS, YOU ALMOST ANNIHILATED US ALL–US ALL!!!)
Okay, I didn’t really say any of that. I just said, hey, it’s your workshop, you do what you want. Live free and write, you beautiful, creative tweens and teens. Feel the love. But I guess I had forgotten that when you’re 10-14, you need people to be really clear and provide a lot of structure. Duh. Important to know. Anyway, I thought they kicked ass with all of their stuff. And in the most humbling moment of all, there was an 8th grade girl wearing a pink Ramones t-shirt.
Gabba, gabba, hey…