Thursday, December 11, 2008

Opinion on the World of Creative Writing 332...Let's Wow the Masses hahaha

The good thing about Advanced Creative Writing was that we did more than just write fiction papers. From what I’ve learned as an education major, every chance a teacher or professor gets, they should incorporate technology into their lessons. Professor Quinlan did exactly that! On top of technology, we had weekly meetings where all we did was edit and discuss each other’s work. It didn’t have to be anything that was for the class. It could have been part of a novel or a book of poems that we could have been working on. Not only did we explore as writers, we explored and analyzed the works of James Joyce’s The Dead. Not all of us enjoyed his works, but in the end, we did have a good time talking about it.
As for technology and education, there couldn’t be a better match. As an education major, I’m supposed to know how to work a smart board, and LCD screen, a projector, and whatever other snazzy things are on the market today. The one thing I never thought I would use, or benefit from, is blogging. This class opened up a whole new part of the internet to me. I was always aware that blogs existed, but I always thought they were cliché like have a diary. The thing is that’s not the only thing they’re used for. There are blogs for everything; whether it be cooking, advice, lovers of literature, etc. We were asked for blog each week about something that either had to do with the class, something we were writing, or anything out in the literary world. Commenting back and forth and getting feedback from each other was fun. I’m surprised that another professor didn’t come up with this idea first. I think it’s pretty awesome. At first I was skeptical, but it was a great idea. At times it did get tedious, but what on the internet doesn’t. I’m beyond sick of instant messaging, so there you go!
Now, about this work shopping business! We all did complain about doing it, but it the end it did benefit each and every one of us. My first paper was on the bad side and it probably got better because of the input that I was given while work shopping. My second paper, in my opinion, totally rocked because I remembered the ideas that were given to me the first time around and tried to incorporate them into that paper. I walked away feeling accomplished and pleased with what I had written. Besides just doing work at our work shops, I think we came together as a class and got to know each other pretty well. It’s easier to understand a person’s work, if you know who they are. We also had a lot of fun and some good talks during those sessions. I particularly enjoyed the time we passed that paper around the room and we each added two lines to it and it became this out of control poem. We all definitely got a kick out of it.
The one thing I was never good at is poetry. Everyone always says this about themselves, unless they have a real knack for it. The great thing about poetry is that it doesn’t always have to be rhyming and/or in meter. Thank god for prose! By going onto the blog each week and having to go look at other literary sites on the blog, I found a new way to write poetry without having to think too hard and write clichés all the time. Being that I’m awful at poetry, I tend to bump into clichés a lot! On the Big Window blog, the class and I found different prompts that can be used for poetry writing. I think every ones particular favorite was the blackout poem. I will be handing that in as my poetry piece for my portfolio, since the one I did write this semester was absolutely awful. For all those people out there that come up with or find poetry prompts, they have probably saved a lot of students from not having an idea what to write about when writing poetry.
One more side note on poetry is about abstraction. It sounds really cool and when done the right way, probably comes out awesome. When you have no idea what you’re doing, like me, things tend to get a little messy. For those students in our class who did great on the abstraction assignment, I’m very proud of them. For those who had a hard time, I’m right there with them!
Now, about James Joyce! I always found him hard to read and never enjoyed anything that I’ve ever read by him. It was in the first part of American Literature that I first heard about James Joyce. I do have to admit that I was nervous when I saw his name on the syllabus. Unless you have some insight onto what he’s really about, it’s hard to like him. It was fun to read him in class and analyze what the story was about. Doing it with a class is so much better than sitting and reading it alone. Maybe another author would be better for next semester!
Advanced Creative Writing is a great class. It was definitely different from what I thought it was going to be and that made it better! I really did enjoy this class and I hope that you teach it again and do everything exactly the same. Maybe just take out Joyce!

Blair's Top Ten Best Writers...

As a teacher, I have a lot of children's authors that are my favorite. As a regular reader, I have a few that are my favorites as well. Lets get cracking shall we :-) I love this blog business. It's to the point where I'm comfortable now and I have no problem being an idiot on it.

1. J.K. Rowling: I've had her listed as a favorite before so I'm not going to go into detail why I like her so much. Why do it again when previous entries already tell about it. :-)

2. James Patterson: James Patterson is another author that I also wrote about. I believe it was my first blog entry ever. So go check back on that one to read about it.

3. Dr. Seuss: Dr. Seuss is one of the greatest children book writers of all time in my opinion. All of his thoughts and stories are so out of the box. It makes a child really use their imagination and a lot of chilren these days are lacking that. With television and video games, they don't feel the need to use it as much. That's why reading Dr. Seuss books is good to read to children. It lets them explore that side of their brain.

4. Shel Silverstein: The poems are stories of Shel Silverstein are fantastic. Not many people are fans but I definitely am. I would sit in the basement or by the pool as a child and just read his book of poems. They were entertaining and well written. A child can easily get lost in his books.

5. Stephenie Meyer: As a new author, Stephenie Meyer has really proven herself. Having a whole series out in less than a year and having the whole word captivated by her novels is like another J.K. Rowling phenomenan. It was instant fame over night. The movie did really well in the box office, but it was nothing compared to the book. It kept you on your toes and wanting more. We're going to see great things from her.

6. C.S. Lewis: C. S. Lewis is a great author. I loved reading and re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia. I just find it odd that it took some movie producer all this time to decide to do a movie based on the books. The writing and the descriptions are absolutely fantastic. Someone should read these books at some point in their life.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Since I didn't blog last's is the make up!

So, last class we went over what we need to fulfill our blog requirement. I found myself laughing as I said that. Which is silly, because I really did enjoy coming on here every week and doing just that. Part of our requirement was to go see a poetry reading or other reading of some sort. Due to the fact that I was student teaching this semester and working every other chance I could, I did not have time to go to a reading this semester. I have made it to others in the past, but this semester I found it hard to get to one. Its particularlly interesting to go to readings at WPU. Sometimes they have guest speakers and you can even hear the work of students that you walk campus with everyday. I definitely won't be getting it done this semester, but hopefully I'll get a chance when all is said and done.

Atleast I didn't lie and make it up! :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Big Window

I wish I could say that I read things for other classes, but this is really the only course I'm taking this semester. Student teaching is more of a full time job than a class. I find myself reading stories about animals, plants, and different animals that live in shells rather than important college readings. The rest of my life is going to be reading textbooks and elementary level reading materials. I wish I had more time to read. I started a book three weeks ago and have only read 24 pages of it. How ridiculous is that? I find myself sleeping during my down time. Hopefully I'll be able to do more reading when I start my MA at the College of St. Elizabeth next semester. I went on an interview there yesterday and got accepted. How fantastic is that?!?! I'm so excited!! This is going to open up a new world of teaching for me.

I know its not the most interesting thing to read about and I know we're required atleast two reviews of what we're reading in class, but all I can say is that from reading what I did today in school, plants have four parts: the stem, leaves, roots, and the flower. That I knew and thats my review :-) I'm so stupid. I'm sorry.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bad/Good News Prompt Story Assignment

Remembering what happened at a frat house the night before was the least of Amber’s problems. She lived at home and her parents would kill her once she got home. After she turned the key in the ignition of her blue 2001 Eclipse, she leaned back in her seat and ran her fingers through her long, flowing blonde hair. Getting home without getting into an accident was her main goal, not throwing up from her hang over was another. The trees seemed to be falling into the street and the squirrels attacking her car. She shook her head every time she would hallucinate another farce.
Amber pulled into her driveway rather erratically and stopped short. Stumbling to her front steps, she fumbled through her purse to find her house key. Feeling that she was beginning to get frustrated about finding the key, she decided to ring the doorbell, regardless of what was going to happen once her parents saw her at the door. As far as they were concerned, she slept at a friend’s house the night before, but by the way she looked at the door there was no way that was true.
Ding-Dong, Ding-Dong
“Who on earth?” her mother yawned, as she unbolted the door, “Who is it?”
“Mom it’s just me. I can’t find my key and I need you to let me in.” At this point she was to weak to stand so she was leaning on the white railing.
“You look like hell. Where were you last night? Mrs. Lynch would never allow this kind of behavior!” her mother began to get furious.
“It’s not a big deal. Don’t worry so much.” Amber brushed her mother off and began to walk into the house. She barely remembered anything from the night before anyway.
“Don’t become a rebellious teen on me now. I know your father and I are getting divorced, but you could atleast at like a mature sixteen year old while dealing with this,” her mother yelled, yet pleaded at her.
Turning back to her mother, “Whatever, I’m going to my room.”
Not remembering what happened the night before worried Amber. She’s not as immature as her mother thinks she is. Yeah, her parents are getting divorced, but she’d probably be doing things like this with a friend like Theresa anyway. She dumped her purse out on her purple and pink comforter and fished through her things for her phone. Picking up the small, black device, she called Theresa to get the gossip on what happened.
“Hey, hun,” she said quietly into her cell phone. “What happened to me last night? The last thing I remember was Dom breaking that beer bottle on the floor. Things are pretty hazy after that.”
Laughing into the phone, Theresa said, “ Am, you were out of control. No one could stop you from taking shots. I’ve never seen someone down so much vodka in my life.”
“Oh man.” She ran her fingers through her hair again and then got a quick smell of vomit and covered her mouth. “Well, that would explain the awful hangover. I had hallucinations of squirrels running at the car.”
“That sounds pretty bad,” Theresa giggled. “Maybe you should crawl into the shower and then take a long nap. That’s what I plan on doing.”
“Yeah, that sounds good. Any liquid that isn’t liquor right now sounds fabulous!”
The two girls hung up the phone. Theresa looked at the picture of her and Amber on her dresser and shook her head. She couldn’t believe her friend was capable of anything that she had done the night before, but it was something she was going to pay for in the long run.
After her shower, Amber brushed out all the knots and enjoyed the smell of cucumber melon radiating off her milky skin. No more vomit smell. Laying on her comfortable temper pedic bed made her feel like she was relaxing on a piece of heaven. Putting last night behind her was all she wanted to do, even though she couldn’t recall half of it. Little did she know what was ahead of her.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fav Literary Website!

I know I'm about a week late posting this, but since I was at teacher's convention last week I figured I'd do both last weeks and this weeks work at the same time. Before I dive into my favorite literary website, teachers convention was awesome! There were so many vendors and so many people. I had no idea where to begin. They were giving away a lot of free materials for teachers. My friend Jess and I definitely did well in getting all of that. By the time we got down there, a lot of the workshops were full, but Cynthia Nixon from Sex and the City was there. That was really awesome!

Okay, about literary websites! My favorite by far is J.K. Rowling's website. It doesn't even look like a literary website when you first enter it. It looks like a messy desk. When you scroll over whatever is on the desk, you find access to her biography, links, FAQs, Harry Potter stuff, any news, etc. Even though her website is pretty much about Harry Potter things, its completely awesome! If you click on the Extra's button (the hair brush) it takes you to a pin-up board where you can find a whole bunch of other information. Without giving a long lengthy summary of the website, why don't you go check it out for yourself.

Have fun with it!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Literary Excellence!

I've written about her before and I'll do it again! J.K. Rowling! She has a knack for writing and did an amazing job with the Harry Potter series. Melanie also wrote on this great author. Rowling went from a woman who had nothing to a woman who owns a huge mansion in England and is a millionare.

When she wrote Harry Potter, she had no idea how big it was going to be; that the young wizard would create a wizarding empire. As new books came out, the plot thickened, there were more secrets to discover, and we watched the characters we know and love grow and develop. She turned her life around with one series. The series itself held the number one spot on the New York Times Best-Seller list and was turned into movies. She achieved over night fame. As the journey grew, so did her writing. She is truly a great example of literary excellence!