Of course there is… or at least so a lot of people seem to think. Of course getting him or her “out” might be a bit of a challenge. And then, of course, there’s the question of whether or not he or she is a good writer. If you are one of those people who has aspirations of becoming a professional writer I have an essay you might enjoy:
Is Everyone a Writer?
The essay is from a blog published on The Chronicle of Higher Education — a bit of a newspaper and resource geared towards college level faculty and administration. It’s definitely a site worth poking around… I found an interesting tip suggesting that when you are proof reading your manuscripts you should change your work to an unfamiliar font. That makes so much sense on several levels. (You can change it back when finished.)
Speaking of writers… I’ve got one you should “meet.” His name is Jim Henry and he conquered illiteracy when he was in his mid-nineties. (He started by practicing signing his own name.) Then he hand wrote a book when he was 98. That book, In a Fisherman’s Language, is about to go into its third printing. Check out his site, blog and the “port to port” literacy program.
We’re right in the midst of “class season” with lots of opportunities to love to learn! Based on some input from students I’m in the process of making some changes and additions to this site–mostly around how courses are listed (the changes) and adding resources specific to courses. Brain Leaks is a work in progress!
You’ll notice a section in the sidebar at the right called “pages.” (These pages are also listed as tabs at the top.) The plan is to give each course its own page and on that page offer resources in the form of links. For example, I’ve already completed the “Got What It Takes?” Solopreneur course page. Those who’ve taken the course will find a link to the booklet I mentioned in class and some other sites that might prove helpful.
As a work in progress, I’m not sure I’ll ever be finished, but be advised I’m really just starting and, with my current course schedule, will be completing this in bits and pieces. Should you find any broken links or missing things, please let me know.
In the spirit of helping each other, if you find resources relative to a course you’ve taken, please send it so I can share it!
Do you get sweaty palms and shaky knees when called upon to speak in front of a group? This brief course doesn’t promise to turn you into a great orator, but it will help you get the butterflies in your stomach to fly in formation when you stand in front of a group by having what is called an “enlarged conversation.” Come prepared to participate and have a lot of fun! Bring your butterflies! Course runs two nights and is scheduled to start in two weeks on March 22nd… call P.V.A.E.C. at 564-6525 and reserve your spot today!
Really enjoyed this class. Made it twice as good having an instructor with a great sense of humor.
The UPS truck made it up the driveway yesterday in spite of the storm… I suppose the driver thought it a bit odd that I proclaimed “my brains are here!” when he set the box down.
It was a fairly large box.
Dealing with test and quiz anxiety is typically a challenge for some adult learners. A few years ago I learned that using stress balls (sometimes called “squeezies”) can help restless children focus… the constant motion seems to release energy and allow the child to focus. So, I thought. “Why wouldn’t this work with adults taking quizzes and tests?”
My first experiment with the theory included a young man who was self-proclaimed “A.D.D.” and he actually broke the stress ball I provided. But he also got a pretty good grade and thought having it helped. So I ordered more–different ones that wouldn’t break.
These cubes proved popular–so much so that they’ve gradually disappeared and I’m down to three. Since it was time to order more, I decided to get a little creative this time… and I was quite pleased to find “squeezies” in the shape of brains. How much more appropriate could things be? Take a test–squeeze your brain! You might be surprised to discover what comes out!
I’m always hesitant to call myself a teacher… for a lot of reasons, I suppose. One is that I do spend a lot of time at the local elementary school as a volunteer and I do not want any role confusion. (I had a young fellow at school ask me if he could something the other day. I replied that he needed to ask his teacher. His reply secretly made my day. “But you teach me stuff–like how to read!” Okay, but you still need to ask your official teacher.)
I do teach. I guess I can consider myself officially a teacher of adults. And the role of the teacher and student is an interesting one… I’m often surprised–or at least disappointed– that a number of my adult students expect it to be somewhat adversarial. One of my colleagues reported a student announcing that since she was “the customer” and paying for the course she “would do whatever she wanted in class.” Fortunately, my colleague had the presence of mind to reply, “Yes, you are the customer and you can do whatever you like. I am the instructor and can do whatever I like–including giving you a failing grade for the course.”
I’m convinced that we’ve got this wrong in a very fundamental way. I think it stems from a too-often adversarial relationship between parents and teachers. It is not my intent to contribute to the hostility by defending teachers–certainly we are not a perfect profession at any age or grade level. I also do not want to over-simplify the topic.
But I do want to suggest that we get rid of the desk. I don’t want to sit behind it and I don’t want my students or their parents sitting in front of it. (Okay, I’ve never had an adult learner’s parent intercede on the students’ behalf, but I have been contacted by spouses.)
Let’s sit next to each other and talk about what it is that we are trying to achieve. Your homework assignment is to read this article before we meet:
“What teachers want to tell parents.”
The assignment applies even if you aren’t a parent of school-aged children, because our class discussion will be about how we view education and development… and how easy it is to forget what we’re trying to accomplish with it.