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 The following paragraph was written in response to the lesson,  Commas: Appositives and Quotations and demonstrates two uses of the comma in punctuation.

Teaching Advanced Composition

This writing class has been and continues to be one of the great joys of my life. The students, in all their incredible multicultural diversity, give more to me personally than I could have ever imagined. When I say, "Let's start writing," they work intensely, no matter how silly the topic I may have chosen that night. Often, during the discussions before we begin writing, I get a surprise. Tonight, for example. "We could use the dash also," Ion said, "instead of the comma." It is truly delightful to see a student who has taken a previous lesson and made the dry knowledge of the dash into an option, something to be used with flair and imagination. The delights don't end with the closing of the class, however. Sitting at my kitchen table, or even swinging in my backyard hammock, I mark student papers, and, as I do, I learn about other ways of seeing the world. A teacher reads his students. It is more than words, then, because I have seen you in the flesh, and now I have you in my hands, on paper. Each of you, in your struggle to communicate in a new language, teach me as much or more than I could ever teach you. For that, I am truly grateful.—215 words; written on November 1, 2001 by Brad Hyde

NOTE: The class on Advanced Composition has not been offered at the PALC since 2005, but I still remember it fondly.


More Teacher Writing

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An Exercise in Procrastination
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