Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Writing to Learn Ch. 2

Intro/Ch. 1 here.

Here is my lazy woman's not-really-narration of Chapter 2 (okay, so it's just quotes I underlined as I read):

Writing is primarily an exercise in logic and words are just tools designed to do a specific job.

Writing is learned by imitation.

We eventually move beyond our models; we take what we need and then we shed those skins and become who we are supposed to become.

The essence of writing is rewriting...After a lifetime of writing I still revise every sentence many times and still worry that I haven't caught every ambiguity; I don't want anyone to have to read a sentence of mine twice to find out what it means.

Putting an idea into written words is like defrosting the windshield: the idea, so vague out there in the murk, slowly begins to gather itself into a sensible shape.

In my travels I have found that the teaching of writing is taken more seriously at little-known colleges and universities than at the big and famous ones.

Everybody loves a story.

Reasoning is a lost skill of the children of the TV generation, with their famously short attention span. Writing can help them get it back.

A lot of hope in this chapter. The teaching of composition, especially now that we have a middle schooler, is pretty intimidating to me. I appreciate the confirmation this author gives that the slow and steady way we are educating the children, the emphasis on process, is a remarkably good one. And I thank the Lord for Miss Mason and the AO/HEO Advisory and their God-given wisdom. I never could have put together a programme this good. Having stepping stones to follow is invaluable.

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