Friday Feb 14, 1992

Valentine's Day

I am certainly glad this day is over. There were so many fundraisers going on that it was difficult to keep people on task (we sold balloons, doughnuts, seniors sold photos, then we had pickles and of course the newspaper was distributed today). They think it should be a national holiday. I wish it were.

Hours 1,2,5 worked on a worksheet that I prepared for them and they loved it. Nice objective questions, fill in the blanks and for the thought questions they nagged "Tell us what you want" until I forced them into looking (though I had to tell them where to look and what to look for). Progress though--it is getting better, and each day, by a combination of kindness and positive strokes I am winning a few more over. Hostility no longer reigns. Future worksheets need to be longer though--the kids that did it completed it pretty fast and those that won't don't care how long it is since they're not doing it anyway. More multiple choice and paragraph comprehension questions, less making them remember (at least right now).

Hour 3, the repeaters, did a great job talking about the book and the worksheet. One girl has already read the book and liked it. I think she can really add something to our study. And you could call what we're doing study. They asked intelligent questions (translation--ones I could answer) and we discussed Stalin, his increasing power, elimination of rivals, etc. They were good I just wish there were more kids there.

Hour 6 poeticized again today. We read a couple of poems from Scholastic Magazine that were cow poop. Full of all the things I hate, the phony syntax, the breathless self importance, the nagging structure, the arbitrarily chosen words selected from a thesaurus instead of their heart. But they refused (except for a few) to revise. Around and around we went. Yet I will do it again. They need to know what revision is and how to achieve it. They need also to know how to find out what works and what doesn't, just as I do. I'm learning--I hope they are too.

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