Saturday, May 7, 2016

B.T.D. -- May 7

What a great way to start the institute!

We learned from famous people (Stephen King), we wrote (with the smellies prompt activity), we reflected on reading ("Because Writing Matters"), we listened to amazing writing (Leah and Anne's learning autobiographies), and we saw a model workshop (Denise's fiction writing workshop).

Throughout the day, I heard us saying how we were reminded of Stephen King thoughts on the writing process.  He talked about following the thin, red string under the baseboard to see what is revealed -- I feel like we are just grasping that string here at the beginning of the institute and we will follow it through the summer and fall and see what it reveals.

After introductions, we felt like we needed some follow-up questions answered:
Question: Dustin, where are you playing tonight and what do you play?
Answer:  The Depot in Gardner and playing drums.

If anyone is feeling share-y, please post a snippet (or more) of what you wrote during our "Smellies Prompt" writing activity as a comment .

We discussed the "Because Writing Matters" reading using the Save the Last Word for Me protocol.  If you would like to revise or tweak this for use in your classroom, feel free!  Here's the a link to the protocol.

I don't know about you, but two lines stick with me from the learning autobiographies.  I love imagining Anne's English teacher who "had a body built for grading" and I can imagine Leah's classroom after discussing their favorite books, where "the love of reading was so ripe, it was falling off the trees."

"I changed his name to Jack Delaney and he wouldn't shut up."
"Words can get in the way of what you're trying to say."  -- Joseph Conrad

1 comment:

  1. Here's a snippet (belatedly) from my olfactory prompt:


    The smoke rises in long, curling spirals upward,
    filling the room with a familiar and pungent smell,
    sharp yet soft,
spicy yet slightly sweet, 
calming yet stimulating,
    From where I sit I can see the embers burning down slowly 
curling over like a flower when it withers and then dies from the cold
in the dark of night
    up at the altar,
    the soft light of the candle flickering and moving,
    as if in a slow spinning dance,
    partners twirling and moving around each other delicately,
    careful not to step one one another’s toes
    reminding me of the shrine room at my sangha
    an offering,
    reminding me of the street vendors in India 
and monastery shrine rooms in Tibet
    reminding me of ritual and tradition
    of prayer and silence
    of chanting in rhythm and harmony
    of powerful teachings and the soft soothing sound of Rinpoche’s voice
    the incense has its own sense of time
    not dictated by humans but by its own self deterioration
    slowly dwindling down into a small pile of ash
    so neat and self-contained
    in its own cycle of fiery living and slow dying
    the orange glow burns inwardly from its central core
    moving down, down, down
    until all that is left is dust.