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  Weekly Feature: (December 31, 2001)
 

 
 

Reflections on a Year Gone By
Brad's Weekly Feature

Words do little justice to the year just past. We saw the world in dreadful images, this, the first real year of the Millennium.

Much of what happened in the spring and summer of 2001 has faded, for my memories are most vivid beginning one September morning. The planes, against the incredible blue sky of New York, are seared into memory. Without memory, we are nothing at all. With the memory of that day, all of us, who could not look away, are forever marked.

My weeks of teaching, this autumn, were often touched by world events. In one of the most rewarding assignments (for the teacher, who gets to read them all), my composition students wrote about how the events of September had changed their feelings and behaviour.

A mournful voice of lost innocence echoed through their writing. One woman, who had left behind-or so she had thought-the perils of another country, had found, to her horror, that Canada now held them, just the same.

Another wrote of the relief she felt when she turned on the TV to find only the regular, predictable programming. An insatiable yearning for something to hang on to, to make life normal again, mirrored my own experience.

Reading and evaluating student writing that was personal, exacting, and extensively revised made this term a real treat. Students worked for up to seven days before handing in their work, and it showed.

This term, as a result, I spent more time than ever giving advice on style. Students got more of my "feel" for their writing and less of straight correction, mostly because many had made virtually no major errors after their revisions.

On the Web this year, a number of student writers shared their work. Always a popular page on the PALC site, I encourage you to consider, this coming term, working hard to put your own piece and its unique voice up for others to read and enjoy.

I look forward to 2002 with some excitement. Look for me in two new roles: teaching Literature and Composition 4 and English Skills 3B-C on Fridays. I will also be newly available to my students in Room 184 on Friday afternoons from 12:30 through 2:30 (in addition to Thursdays at the same time). I will continue with English 10 on Wednesdays and, I must admit, with my favourite class: Advanced Composition on Thursday evenings.

See you all, back in class, during the week of January 21st, 2002. Happy New Year!

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Merry Christmas 

Weekly Feature Index (Includes all 2002 to date Weekly Features with descriptions)

 

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