Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I just don't get it

So I've been teaching this class on the Fundamentals of English. For the most part, I enjoy it, but I do not understand the idea that writing is some dreaded activity like I hear sometimes from students. Yeah, grammar can be a big pain with all the exceptions, rules, etc.

But why would you not want to improve your writing, so that you can communicate better? Express yourself more easily? Enjoy the sound of words? Experiment with word play and rhyme?

I love this quote from E.M. Forester (at least it's most often attributed to him): "How do I know what I think until I see what I say?" That quote so captures my daily experience. Some people think out loud by talking. I think by writing.


  1. Well, as Steve Martin said, "Some people have way with words, others not have way." Still, I'm sure you'll inspire a whole new attitude in your students. Go get 'em!

  2. The problem, I suspect, is that their writing will be judged. And because it feels permanent, their embarrassment doesn't go away. Next: they fear they have nothing to say. The sad reality is that most of what we talk about is not worth writing down.

  3. Yeah, those are all good thoughts. I guess I was frustrated the day that I wrote that post!

  4. Enjoyed your post -- and the comments. Mel Levine's book, All Kinds of Minds, has lots of info on the different neurological things that can make writing hard for people, as well as some tips on how to help cope with difficulties. No instant fixes of course, but still very helpful.

    Also, I gave your blog a You Make My Day award! Because you do always make my day. (See my blog for details.)