Scribe Notes!

Friday, July 29

                We began the morning a wee bit late as people ambled in from their unchanging breakfasts.  At approximately 9:20-ish, our fearless leader informed us that she would be speaking with ten classes of international students and wanted to take in our topics for our final projects to those students.  We went around the room and volunteered our future lines of inquiry.  The possibilities were diverse, ranging from folk tales to perspectives on US Policy to a day in the life of a high school student to poetry to the lives of Muslim women.

                Ruie then led us into our “Writing into the Day” activity which was a selection of neat-o dorito ideas about writing unique postcards using poetry and sentence modeling.  The first was an anagram about your experiences in the UK featuring your own name, the second was the same but using a word like “England” or “Exhaustion” to create your poem.  Another possibility was the “Before this…After this” format.  My personal favorite was the “A Day in the Life of” activity where you present your reader with chronological snippets of the day that ring true, not necessarily ARE true (kind of like James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces which begs the question what is truth when we are telling our own experiences, but I digress).  We then wrote sentences modeled off of other writers.  The two sentences we worked with are: 

§  F. Scott Fitzgerald – two preposition phrases, verb, subject – reverse normal sentence order ‘zoom in’ – start large and shrink in to subject “Zoom In”

·         On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about halfway between the Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a large, proud rose-colored hotel.  I relax there now.


§  Ruth Firor – subject, past verb phrase, present verb phrase

·         The lazy October afternoon, bathed in a soft warmth of a reluctant sun, held a hint of winter’s coming chill.  I have bundled up to write to you. 

I, personally, rather enjoyed Keshetta’s ode to her blister as a nice bit of comic relief in the day.  Ruie then magically morphed into Martha Stewart and shared a variety of hints for decorating with post cards including decoupage, framed art, table tops, and journal making.  We were instructed to write four post cards and turn them in as hard copies and choose one to post on the moodle. 

                We took a break for lunch.  However, many diligent workers chose to stay in the classroom and take a working lunch.  Many others decided to take a nap.  It takes all kinds on this adventure.

                After the break we worked with our writing groups to revise either our room description or initial impression of England assignment.  This gave us another opportunity to gain proficiency in googledocs.  We focused on use of detail and showing instead of telling in our revision efforts.

                Next came the scribe reports, starring Ann Marie and the duos Ashley & Anna and Taylor & Jane.  Ruie also reported regarding her visit with the international students and informed us that not all of the students were going to Oxford.  However, many did seem interested in talking about music, folk and fairy tales and the high school experience.  This is, in fact, not a one-way relationship; it is a symbiotic one.  The international students have their goals from us as well.  These goals are to practice English and do an assignment where they ask us questions.

                Our illustrious instructors than gave us, their sniveling students, a much-anticipated spreadsheet featuring a breakdown of the class’s assignments and when those assignments are due.  We had a lovely question and answer session in attempts to quell any confusion.  Afterwards Kevin introduced us to the Prezi web 2.0 tool as a possibility for both our classrooms and our online Weebly portfolios.  He showed us one he created regarding his arrival in England.  We watched an introductory video and then were given ample time to work with this new technology and create our own presentations. 

                We then, in the immortal words of Fleetwood Mac, went our own ways.  Some of us continued to work (ahem, nerds!), some of went to see Harry Potter in 3D (double nerds!), and some of us went to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant (lucky!) but did not, in fact, see Jamie Oliver who is my future ex-husband.  But, that's another story that I won'g get into now.

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