Tag Archives: teaching

#GloPoWriMo 2018 16 – Risposta

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‘A quando risale il suo cognome?’

Mi chiedi, spocchiosa ed arrogante
come solo una della tua età
con i tuoi genitori, in questa scuola,
sa raccogliere e concentrare in una sola frase.

Non pensi a quello che ti ho chiesto
alle istruzioni che ti ho dato
come agli altri non più di cinque minuti fa
é un passato troppo recente
non é quello che ti interessa perché non importa.

(Non pensi al rischio corso da chi
non come me ma ci siamo andati vicini
non come me ma tu non puoi saperlo
non ha modo di salire più di due
scalini nel condominio del proprio passato.)

Quindi, studente dodicenne
con la spocchia nella voce
e la voglia sotto i piedi
l’unica risposta che avrai da me
é questo pezzo che tu
se non per errore
– come gli esercizi che ti ho dato
d’altronde –
non leggerai mai.

yay, teaching

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#GloPoWriMo 2018 9 – Lesson I

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should I tell you how to
shall I tell you how
can I tell you
I’ll tell you

when she takes
when he takes
why you & I give

what is
what isn’t
what these are in context
out of context they are not

how to be in
how to go to
who to go with
& how to stay

#GloPoWriMo 2018 6 – Homework

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For next week, then,
I want you to fall in love
with someone who doesn’t
speak the same language as you.
I want you to explore
all conjugations of the verbs
to feel to stumble to fumble.
I want you to analyse
the syntax of their collarbone
and the irregular construction
of the skin on their belly.
How their intonation rises
with each questioning look
in the way that their voice
does not. How the structure
of their arms has possessive
qualities, and it calls to you
in the singular and the plural.
How there is no need for a third
person. How the present
might or might not seem perfect
and the rules behind it follow
no rhyme nor reason anyway.
How tongues are the least
important part of the conversation
when the punctuation is made
by the sounds of your study.

What you will learn is
for you and you alone but
share the lesson wide.

based on a conversation almost had during teaching

#GloPoWriMo 2018 4 – e oggi facciamo English

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ecco il giallo per fare
il sole
così lo porto alla mamma
ed è bello.

io ho fatto il yellow
il rosa e il blue
perché piove ma dopo
c’è il sole.

il mio tempo preferito
è il drago
perchè la Viola è coraggiosa

e sono io la scala mobile
e non voglio fare il marrone
e oggi sei ritornato da noi

(found poem with bits of a kids’ English lesson)

#GloPoWriMo 2017 7 – a day in the life of

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start. waking up to
a new cycle of stories,
wheels are shuddering

at the holes you made
(there is news that we can pause)
is this fulfilling

or have we fallen
into another routine,
waiting for. the end.

On Finishing Things

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On Finishing Things

or, What I Think I Learned from Moving to a Different Country to Go To University

Be selfish. Because it won’t be enough to remember to take care of yourself. But also connect, to friends, to students, to colleagues, to staff, to people living around you. Be thankful for them, for their help, for their presence. Be thankful to your closest supporters, to your steam valves. Be kind. A little goes a long way, and you will feel much better for it.

Watch Liberal Arts, and prepare to scoff – but even so. Watch Whiplash and prepare to shudder – but even then. Watch Community, season one episode one, season five episodes one and two – watch it all, in fact. Watch Monsters University, despite it not being as good as Inc, and watch Inside Out [I’ll come back to emotions later, too]. Watch Dead Poets Society, if you feel you should, I suppose.

Learn to meditate, and breathe, and sleep. Learn to read as much as you want of anything you want, and that it’s ok to abandon it for a year if something else comes along. Learn to bingewatch with other people, and bingewatch alone. Learn to listen, but also to talk, and it doesn’t always have to be about that much.

Read Ali Smith’s Artful and Deborah Levy’s Things I Don’t Want to Know. Read William Letford’s Bevel and Marina Keegan’s The Opposite of Loneliness. Read Vaughan and Staples’ Saga and Luiselli and McSweeney’s Sidewalks. Read Comme un Roman, by Daniel Pennac (or by Sarah Ardizzone), or maybe Journal d’un Corps (or Diary of a Body, by Alison Waters). It helps to know your limits, of the page, of the body, and others have explored those edges. Read Jeanette Winterson’s Written on the Body, too, and Claudia Rankine’s Citizen. Read Gillen and McKelvie’s The Wicked and the Divine and Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona.

Find something to become passionate about, and abolish the guilt from the pleasure. [Mine is Transformers, but you already knew that.] Be aware of what is flawed about your interests, do your best to come to terms with it and try changing it where possible. Learn from the mistakes it makes. This also applies to yourself.

Because what you must remember, what you need to make sure you never forget, is to have ambition (cue Atanas Valkov). To be curious (cue Melodysheep). To remember that emotions are allowed, they are natural, they are yours. Because being strong can be a weakness, and showing weakness can definitely be a strength. Accept both. Allow both. Get angry. Make it count (cue A Monster Calls).

You will cry. You will laugh. Sometimes there will be little difference between the two. You will feel lost as everyone is younger than you or looks trapped too early. You will meet people and they will leave, and you won’t. And then you will, too.

So take time to say goodbye. To say thank you. To say sorry.
And do it all with a smile, where you can.

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 28 – Notes

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I* once knew a young man* in Norwich
who enjoyed** teaching classes*** in college****
I liked a good rhyme*****
if a few at a time******
flurb******* flergle flarg fliggle floridgh********

—-

*actually same person
**broadly
***seminars
****university
*****debatable, both the good and the liking
******is this even English
*******..wha?
********You just gave up, didn’t you?°
[°but you rhymed, well done. I guess.]

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 27 – End of Term

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Collect
module evaluations,
write a report.

Send
students emails
to check in.

Tweak
teaching portfolio
for future posts.

Open
neglected work,
stare and sigh.

Check emails again:
‘Ready to collect’.

[A hay(na)ku sonnet, as per prompt from Napowrimo.net.]

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 12 – Glimpses

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A motor-bike revs by the new flats.
I could look back and see…

The snake-hipped man sitting with the old woman
come to slake their fantastic lust –
scattering in all directions, at their wits’ end,
smiling mysteriously at the dead man.
(His silence was only another form of grief.)

Stood with my back to the sink,
I wish I might digress and tell you more.

[Found poem created by summing the alphanumeric values of ‘realism’ (=77), and choosing a line from that page of each novel on the module I’m teaching at UEA.]