An Intro to Michael Cook...

I received my B.S. in English from Appalachian State University.  I have an M.ed. in Secondary English Education from North Carolina State University.  And I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English Education from Clemson University.

For the past five years I have taught high school English in North Carolina, in both Harnett and Sampson Counties.  I have taught every level of high school English with the exception of English III.  My primary duty has been to teach the bulk of our seniors, from College Prep through Advanced Placement.  Outside of the classroom, I have served as the English Department Chair and the Graduation Project Coordinator.  Outside of school, I have had the opportunity to coach both the men's and women's varsity soccer teams.  I can honestly say that I loved my job, and walking away from it was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.  But because it is important to me to continue my education, and because it has gotten increasingly more difficult to juggle teaching, coaching, other duties, and graduate school, I felt it was in my best interest to go back to school full time and focus on nothing else.

At Clemson, I am fortunate to serve as the Doctoral Graduate Assistant to the Upstate Writing Project, Clemson's local National Writing Project site.  I couldn't be more excited about this position because it gives me the chance to do work that I know to be meaningful.  As Dr. Pritchard would agree, the National Writing Project is an amazing organization focused on the teaching of writing and the evolution of what it means to be a writer.  My position allows me to go into schools and facilitate PD with teachers, to help plan and facilitate summer institutes, advanced institutes, and workshops/inquiry groups for teachers, and to work with students in gaming, technology and writing camp contexts.  I will also be teaching a few graduate level courses and coordinating state conferences.  This is truly an exciting transition for me.

Having worked with Dr. Pritchard before, I couldn't be more excited about our course in England.  This will no doubt serve as an experience bringing many new strategies and ideas to our classrooms.  I look forward to learning with and working with all of you, and I hope this turns out to be the experience for you that I know it will be for me.

Feel free to follow this blog to see what I'm learning and experiencing or catch my travel blog by clicking on the link.


Expository Text #1: The King's Head Pub Ghost Experience

The King's Head Pub Experience
a Sara, Michael, Kevin, Jane and Taylor production

Due to copywrite restrictions, we were unable to include a portion of the actual Japanese documentary in our video.  However, if you wish to view it for yourself to check our facts or simply to give yourself a cold chill, please feel free to use the following link.
Youtube link to documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyiAiHly9oU

Expressive Text #1: Six Word Sentences Toondoo

Poetic Text #1: Dickens Poem and Prezi

Click to set custom HTML

Poetic Text #2: Ernest Hemingway Bio Poem on Glogster

Expressive/Poetic Texts #2: I have included my four post card writings as well as several representative pictures of each.



Making memories every moment
I see the world through new eyes
Catching myself awestruck
Hearing voices from the past
Alluding to a different life
Even more real than my own
Leaving me thirsty for more

Ghosts awake
under pubs and houses
illustrating that life
lies outside our norms.
For this is a town
of history, its past alive
radiating beauty, fear, pride
denoting life in a quaint,
English town.


In the town of Winchester,
away from the crowds of market shoppers,
along a gentle rolling stream,
exists the ruins of a castle,
which history says should not exist at all.


The seasoned and timeless ale
pumped by knowlegeable, invested hands
washes over me, like a warm wind,
bringing with it a sense of
deeply-rooted English culture.


Expository Text #2

Expressive #3: The Pub Trail: the Ultimate Edinburgh Experience
Told through recorded monologue over a series of still images

Poetic Text #3: This is a Google Map that was meant to serve as a challenge to others in the class.  Signs have been photographed around campus and posted on the map, along with a humorous verse about each.
This was done in collaboration with Jane and Kevin.

Personal Reflections and Self-Evaluations of my Writing.

Poetry Mode Reflection:

Poetry is perhaps my favorite mode to write in.  I do not necessarily think it is my best mode of writing, but I do enjoy the freedom and creativity that come along with it.  If I had to choose one mode of writing to do in my free time, it would most certainly be poetry.  I love that I can create the rules for my writing.  It allows me to go to new and interesting places with it.  Honestly, I don't feel as though the writing I've done for this course has been any of my best poetry.  I generally write a draft and walk away from it for a while, before finally coming back to it and revising.  I'm also a very private person when it comes to my poetry.  It allows me to be more honest with myself and try to learn more about myself through my writing.  Overall, I feel I can write poetry, I can teach poetry, but I'll probably never be completely comfortable with poetry (at least with my own poetry).

Expressive Mode Reflection:

I like expressive writing.  It provides a good way to tell a story or experiment with words.  While I enjoy poetry more, I am most comfortable with the expressive mode.  There doesn't seem to be as much at stake there.  I can be me and try to allow my voice to come through.  From the dream room to the post cards, I connected more with expressive writing than any other mode.  As a doctoral student, however, I don't get to use much expressive writing in my classes, but I do try to fit it in when I can.

Expository Mode Reflection:

I would have to say that this is my least favorite mode of writing.  I am quite capable of creating this type of text, but it doesn't seem to come as naturally to me.  For instance, my expository text on the book felt forced almost.  The words didn't flow like they do with other types of writing.  What I did find, through my pub and impressions of England writings, was that using technology to supplement these kinds of texts was quite enjoyable.  It felt more like having fun than writing.  I guess that's as good of an advertisement for the TPACK model as I can provide.