Monday, October 05, 2009

Note: The sentence labels are guideposts that I require in my students’ writing. They stand for topic sentence, supporting detail sentences, commentary sentences, and concluding sentence. Each body paragraph must have three "chunks" of information. I've use colors to highlight the chunks.

TS This morning, one of my classes was interrupted for a fire drill, and we ended up not being able to properly finish the class. TS 2 Walking back to the classroom, I was feeling distressed about this for a moment or two, but before I reached the classroom, a breeze brushed across my face, and it changed my perspective completely. SD As I waited for the next group of students, I asked myself whether a breeze is ever “properly finished”. CM Will the breeze that blew past me come to a neat and tidy end somewhere? CM Will that particular breeze, at some point and in some place, eventually be completed, done, accomplished, and fulfilled? CM Will it curl up in the grass somewhere, sighing and settling back and feeling like a skillful and productive breeze that had done its job with utter thoroughness? SD Of course, these are silly questions, and perhaps it’s just as silly for me to worry about leaving a particular class unfinished. CM Both breezes and English classes are parts of endless weather and educational systems and therefore they can’t be said to start or finish anywhere. CM Both the weather and learning are constantly occurring on an immeasurable scale, and passing puffs of air and short-lived classes are simply momentary manifestations of these vast forces. CM Weather and learning never stop, even though a breeze soon disappears and an English class is dismissed. SD Later this morning, after lunch, I thought some more about my unfinished class, and I decided that, in fact, it wasn’t unfinished at all. CM Like a passing breeze, it was just gone, not unfinished. In the vast landscape of our lives, the class was a fleeting few moments of education for my students and me, and a zillion more moments are still to come. CM It’s a single, vast process, this extravaganza called education. Nothing ever starts; nothing ever finishes. CS The breezes of learning are always blowing, even during fire drills.

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