I spent some time basking in the sun this past weekend, and this week in English class I plan to encourage my students to bask in their own writing. Basking in the spring sunshine (especially after weeks of storms) requires no effort, and in a way, neither does basking in sentences and paragraphs. In the warm, late-afternoon light on Sunday, I simply sat in a chair and allowed the sun to do its munificent work, and tomorrow in class I will ask my students to just stay silent in the center of some of their writing, letting its allure linger around them. We can’t rush the enjoyment of sunshine, and neither can we rush the appreciation of written words. The students need to sprawl a little in the middle of their first drafts, feeling the overall motifs and perhaps sensing new forms and directions their sentences might take. They need to luxuriate in their own writing, perhaps loll in it, as I did in the surprising sunshine. Only then can they feel the full force of what they’ve written, and only then can they find new ways to spruce up their writing, like the April sun somewhat refurbished my life this weekend.
© 2010 Hamilton Salsich