March 7th, 2012

(no subject)

A day in bed hasn't sorted me, but it certainly helped. I made my bus this morning, taught, made my bus home and promptly went back to bed, but at least I was able to teach.

We had a good class. We talked about the exhibition, of course (and one of my students had written a poem on the followers we attracted during our excursion!) and spent the rest of the class talking about the relationship between etiquette and audience and purpose of writing. We demonstrated definitely that if you decided exactly who you're writing for then you're more likely to write something they want to read and that this applies just as much to officials who have sent you undesirable bills as to friends to whom you wish to dedicate a poem. We also met Manzoni.

The etiquette thing was interesting. There are so many vague statements floating around about who one's 'readers' should be that my students came up with global definitions of readership: "This poem is for everyone who likes words" "This letter is for lovers of aeroplanes." When we sat down and refined it a bit more "Is this letter for anyone who likes aeroplanes, or for B, to whom it is addressed?" their writing styles changed significantly. My students now understand why blank verse is not going to get their rates query answered any faster and how vocabulary choices can change when one addresses the "to whom and why" questions. What was really interesting was that it made sense to everyone when we talked about it as writing etiquette and applied it to everything they wrote. Applied solely to creative writing and discussed in terms of genre and audiences, it had flown right over them like an aeroplane.

And that's all my day. The rest is rest. Except that I have a really interesting WHM post for you, which will go up in between rests.