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