Tag Archives: journal

Keeping a journal for a whole year??

1 Jan

I don’t know about keeping a journal the whole school year. If I could just write stories, it would be easy, but she’s asking that we share our “hopes, dreams, fears, and inner thoughts.” First of all—inner thoughts? What other kinds of thoughts are there?

 Second, she says we’re supposed to write two or three times a week, including one entry on the assigned topic. Well, is it two or three? Doesn’t she know that if she says that, then everyone will just write two? You’d think teachers would have figured this kind of stuff out by now.

And third, there’s no minimum length for how much we write each time—we are just “encouraged” to write complete entries. “Encouraged” is not a word that gets students to do anything. I’m worried that the other kids are going to see Ms. Dell as an easy teacher and not take the class seriously. Then it’ll be Mr. Peterson’s eighth-grade Language Arts class all over again. Why do I care if nobody else does any work in this class? Why do I even spend time thinking about it when what I really should be doing is figuring out what to make for dinner…

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My Name Is Lupe Jones

30 Dec
 Assignment #1: What do you hope to get out of Freshman English?

What do I hope to get out of Freshman English? Why do teachers ask these questions? Does it really matter what I hope to get out of Freshman English? I mean, isn’t the year pretty much planned already? Okay…                                                                   

I’m hoping to read some good books. And I’m hoping that we don’t ruin them all by having to write lots of summaries or answer a bunch of picky questions just to prove we’ve read them. Is that what this journal is going to be used for?                 

I like to write. I prefer creative writing, which I never get to do in school, so I hope we get to spend at least part of the year writing poems or short stories or something besides essays. And it is my sincere hope that I will never ever have to diagram another sentence for as long as I live. That’s not writing—that’s dissecting perfectly good sentences into prepositional phrases and parts of speech until all the meaning is sucked out of them and then they’re just a collection of lifeless words. Not only is it pointless, it’s disrespectful of language.                                          

Writing is expressing yourself. It’s poetry that inspires you, fantasy that takes you somewhere else, mystery that makes you want to read more, and humor that gives you the chance to laugh (especially when your own life isn’t so humorous.) I’m not saying that true stuff isn’t writing, but it isn’t fun. Why would anyone want to read about what is if they could read about what could be?