Monday, October 03, 2005

Deadwood and other English fun

I am spending the day working on my first big paper for grad school, for my "Teaching Film" class. The paper assignment tells us to "examine the treatment of one significant topic from one film that we have studied in class, and one text of your own choosing." So I am writing about the power of the dead mother in Hitchcock's Psycho and Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. I am rather enjoying my topic, and I think it should turn out all right.

After having taught for so long, it is interesting to be writing an essay again. I suppose it is a relief to realize unequivocally that the things I was teaching about composition are actually valid. Yes, I do indeed use the techniques I have been teaching my poor students for so long: strong verbs, strong subjects, no fluff or deadwood, etc.

So at least I know for sure that I was not just loading a bunch of bullshit onto my students. (They may disagree, especially during Hewitt's AP Lit class, but they generally come around!)

Oh well. I'm off to my history of film class to learn about early European cinema, then back to work on my essay.

I'm, like, a student, or something.

19 Comments:

At 4:06 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

What the hell are these students you speak of?

 
At 4:06 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

Or who, I suppose.

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

CSE, baby.

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Josh posited...

I thought your class prepared my adequately for AP Lit, I did quite all right.

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Josh posited...

I made a couple errors

 
At 6:24 PM, Blogger mayah posited...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 6:24 PM, Blogger mayah posited...

i definitely had the best 3 english teachers possible at bhs, and i can safely say you did help my writing. a lot.
and as for preparing ppl for hewitt, every teacher wants something completely different, and part of writing is being able to meld your style appropriately while maintaining a basic command of language. so i say pish posh to those who didn't appreciate you.

 
At 6:47 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

No matter what ppl say about Hewitt, there are these two things.

a) We both liked baseball, and I pitched for him in jr. high. So it was a cordial teacher/student relationship.

b) He taught me how to write a thesis statement that didn't suck. That helped my writing a lot.

 
At 7:08 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Many people who speak ill of Mr. Hewitt are probably just masking their laziness - what Maya said about it is spot on. Top drawer, Maya.

 
At 7:24 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

Seriously, though, if you ever cross Hewitt, he would not only destroy your self esteem but, more than likely, your mortal coil, as well. Do I speak literally? Maybe, maybe not.

 
At 7:53 PM, Blogger Houley posited...

BTW, I've never really thanked you, Mr. Wanninger, for teaching me how to write (I didn't miss an out-of-class essay point in Hewitt's class - EVER).

I would agree with Mayah that the Wanninger-Hewitt-Niemi combo is quite excellent, and the outside influences from Lade and even LaShomb don't hurt.

What I mean to say is BHS is way better than 99.4% of people give it credit for, and by people I mean my friends as opposed to the administration.

 
At 7:56 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Thanks, Jason. We (the teachers) always tried to see the teaching of writing as a process, and we have consistently heard from past students that once they get to college, they are miles ahead of other students in terms of writing. Even students who may not have done well on the actual AP Lit and Lang tests always note that they actually did learn how to write.

So anyway, you're welcome, and thanks.

 
At 8:29 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

The pen is indeed mightier than the sword...
K-9 = The mines
Waninger = Forge
Hewitt = Sparring arena
Niemi = Colosseum

 
At 10:19 PM, Blogger Tay posited...

nice analogy john. i don't think i can thank you wanninger for teaching me how to write. you didn't have to considering i was kind of (and by this i mean really) a twerp in pre ap. but lord knows neimi would have smote me if it weren't for you. that being said, neimi is a god (i suppose godess) when it comes to just purely making you write. i'm sure i would have learned a lot had i actually applied my self in pre ap, but neimi just throws you into the fire and pulls you out and you go "wow, that was amazing." so far i haven't had one bit of trouble in hewitt's class. the last essay i did for him was 50/50 and in big red letters on the top it read "nice essay." however, its just the confidence i know at least i get when i write now, as compared to say in ninth grade, that helps the most. this is to say, i wholly agree that our english department is very well run at the high school. but oh if we could say this about everything, like (for example) the administration.

 
At 12:06 AM, Blogger markymark posited...

am i the only one who had spartz? cause that was kind of a scarring experience. that man could take poetry, tell us it was entirely subjective, and then tell us exactly how we should interpret it if we really understood poetry. mm, good times.

 
At 7:28 AM, Anonymous katja posited...

I have to agree with most of the people here that BHS is(was) and awesome school. I guess comming here to spain, where my lit teacher tells me what to think and write has really opened my eyes, so to speak... Wanninger, you were a good teacher, who adequatly laid the foundation of writing. Hewitt was there to initiate everyone into ¨the real world¨and Niemi was there to fine tune and due major surgery where necissary...I´m not saying that my writing is excelent now, especially since I´m "losing" some of my english. Rather I´m saying(this is redundant,sorry) that I have a good place to start from. Not to mention I know a good teacher when I have one, and I guess I know how to cope when I don´t, or at least how to survive in the class.

So I guess I¨d like to thank you Wanninger for enduring my deplorable writing...

And keep up the halarious blog. It´s a nice mental break from all my Spanish homework, especially my ancient history hmwk. :)

 
At 7:30 AM, Anonymous katja posited...

oh and please for give my spelling, grammer, etc mistakes.... I´m really sorry

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger markymark posited...

my comment would have made soooooo much more sense if i had said "objective" rather than "subjective".

that's what I get for going to school in the south

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

Well, it kind of made sense the way it was... I thought you were just pointing out that he was just completely contradicting himself.

 

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