Good to one another

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I snapped this photograph of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing building early yesterday afternoon, just ahead of class.  The wind blew me through the door.  A half hour early, and two of my students already there.

It's been like that this semester.  These are very special kids.  Especially motivated, especially talented, and remarkably good to one another.  We had, for example, been working on voice.  I asked the students to entrust their work to another—to allow classmates to read their anonymous pieces out loud and to give us room to try to identify each writer.  Would the syntax, the eye, the I, the obsessions be consistent with the writers we were coming to know?  Would we hear progression within the voices?  Would the reader be able to read the piece as the writer intended it to be read—grow still and grow emphatic between the commas and the dashes?

You have to trust a class to behave with honor and integrity in exercises like these.  I trust my class implicitly.  Again and again, they prove me right and leave my soul uplifted.  They are curious.  They are open.  They are giving.


Richard Gilbert said...

What a great exercise. I am have to steal that idea!

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