Thursday, March 18, 2010

Three Beautiful Things 03/17/10: Praise for Students, Splendid Essays, Ken Z and Neruda

1. MBayless and I had the kind of conversation we almost always do as a school quarter draws to an end: in praise of our students. Our students never fail to surprise, please, enlighten, and uplift us.

2. I began reading the final personal essays my WR 122 students wrote. Honest. Authentic. Eloquent. No one's faking it. No one's writing for the grade. These essays are real. These writers learned to trust their voices, the power of their experience, and their talent. I get to read more on Thursday.

3. Russell and Ken have decided to publish a short piece I wrote entitled "On Illness" in the Community College Moment. This morning, Ken and I walked to our offices together from the parking lot and he took the opportunity to praise my work in ways I deeply appreciated. I, in turn, took delight in telling him how much my students love his poem "Rag" and, I hope, delighted him when I told him he often appeared in student essays right along Pablo Neruda as students wrote about his poem and work by Neruda. If Ken wasn't delighted, I sure have been as my students have been moved and delighted by Ken's great poem.

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