Monday, April 15, 2013

things a lifelong love of english has taught me

i've loved english/language arts as long as i can remember. this stemmed from a love of reading, of course, but that's not the only part of it that i love. i resisted for a couple years, trying to deny my love of language and literature and my eventual love of teaching, but i couldn't hold out for long. here are some things that have come in handy throughout my life as a result of my studies.
  • "every slaughtered syllable is a good deed." (mr. phillips, 11th grade)
  • latin and greek word parts (mrs. hippie, 10th grade)
  • spelling is awesome and will get you far in life--but spelling bees are nerve-wracking (mr. harman, 6th grade; mrs. adams, 5th grade)
  • i will pretty much read anything. i won't like or love or even remember all of it, but i will try my best to read all of it. it is a rare occasion when i don't finish a reading, if it's a novel at least. don't ask me to like and, presumably, finish a bunch of poetry. blech. (disdain of poetry--susan howe, winter 2008, i think...that was a long time ago.)
  • british literature, especially victorian novels, are my go-to (lorraine wood, winter 2009)
  • shakespeare is king, and hamlet is particularly important (pretty much every english teacher ever, especially mrs. riley, 12th grade)
  • even though i love to write, i'm not sure i have the imagination to do it for real. but that doesn't mean i haven't tried (or won't try again) (creative writing classes through the years, but mostly pat madden, fall 2011. though that essay class did give me the most hope and the best tools for future creative writing.)
  • i really love vocabulary (mrs. adams, mr. phillips, mrs. gregg)
  • grammar is important no matter how boring it seems (debbie harrison, winter 2010)
  • really beautiful writing is sometimes more important to me than story--this semester i read edith wharton's the custom of the country. the story is pretty fascinating, full of intrigue, with an anti-heroine you love to hate and a transatlantic plotline, but what really amazed me was wharton's prose, lines like these:
    words were flashing like brilliant birds through the boughs overhead; he had but to wave his magic wand to have them flutter down to him. only they were so beautiful up there, weaving their fantastic flights against the blue, that it was pleasanter, for the moment, to watch them and let the wand lie.
    there are probably more lessons, though not including how to get this aligned all the way to the left again--i'm definitely not in computer science. sometimes i question this decision i've made to devote my studies to this discipline that can feel stale, but then i remember that it has brought me a lot of joy and taught me some things that have made me who i am. this is starting to sound cheesy, so i guess i'll wrap it up and go finish my peer review for tomorrow :)

No comments:

Post a Comment