Slice of Life 2015 Saturday 21st: Return to Textbook Proposal

Prudence dictated to hold off on another great conversation of yesterday:  a visit with a local small business honcho about my textbook–our second talk and better than the first. I discussed the sustainability model in composition of Derek Owens, St. John’s University. Basically, we need to get students to write about their environment. Students have a better chance of success with essay prompts that inspire them. Political connotations can range from liberal to centrist to conservative to none. The “too regional” critique I once faced lacks merit because we shouldn’t strive for a generic list of national essay prompts, nor shameless propaganda for the college or avoiding arbitrary censorship by an instructor in a persuasive essay.

I showed him my off-the wall account of a talk called, “Remedial English Meets Stand-Up Comedy,” where I crafted a narrative around funny model grammar sentences. Topics covered include the generation gap, stories of friends and cats, teachers being more bookish, asthma issues, and more. Student engagement is essential for textbooks, so one should try to be funny and have good illustrations. I used flickr, a branch of yahoo, when I finally illustrated my copyrighted, unpublished Developmental English/Writing textbook.

I sent the honcho links to my composite chapter of published articles, annotated link page of 11 with all chapters represented and another with seven, plus some persuasive (hopefully) rhetoric.

Now I’m jammin’ to Bobby Womack on Spotify. He passed away in July 2014 like James Garner, so I’m getting misty-eyed while occasionally singing along.

6 thoughts on “Slice of Life 2015 Saturday 21st: Return to Textbook Proposal

    • Thanks I never work in silence. Usually CNN or MSNBC is on. Letssingit is another great site for music. Earlier yesterday, I read my printed proposal at the BBQ place’s bar where I could visit the bartender and not be distracted by other binders full of papers.

  1. Humor is vital in every area of teaching, but maybe the most when teaching our EL students. So stressful. They have the inhibition of not wanting to write because they’re expected not to until they can produce CWE. Correct Written English. Which keeps them from writing. That’s no fun.
    I posted today, btw, on doing sentence grammar with a silly cat/dog mnemonic.
    Students writing about real stuff that matters to them is vital. Kudus to you.

    • Looks like we’re very compatible philosophically. Somewhere in my Preface, under To The Instructor, I urge the teacher not to complete the grammar chapter before moving to the writing chapters because it would be ineffectual and boring for all involved. I used to give two grades to each essay:grammar/writing. As I told my students, I read through every essay once and give a grammar grade. Unless the writing grade is obvious, I read the essays a second time before giving the second grade. Looking forward to your cat/dog mnemonic.

    • Thanks. I’ve always loved public speaking. Moving around is important, good notes on the board, and being funny when you can. Humor in the classroom, is probably controversial tragically. I recall a cruel prof whose saying was “Don’t smile until Christmas.”

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