Sunday, November 11, 2007
If you didn't make it to the writing retreat at Tamasag I hope to see you at the next one. I wrote for the first time since SI! Here are the "tiny poems" Megan suggested we try out. I think I'll do this with my students this week:)
Soul has fled body through
aura’s tiny chords.
Everybody wants you and so they steel
little pieces of love or disdain.
Then, they keep you.
Sun’s magnanimous explosions slip
I am that essence.
by the fire I am close
to dog and cat cuddles
in my lap.
Under me, earth.
This next one was inspired by the river. I love Tamasag!
This next one was inspired by the river. I love Tamasag!
How a root can hold against water’s flow.
Rocks bunch together and sinew
straps of bush search out for nourishment
How a mother can hold against separation’s flow.
Children bunch together and sinew
straps of broken heart seek the word family.
How a house can hold against time’s flow.
Ghosts bunch together and sinew
straps of grief dig into graves.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I bought the helmet because my dad was worried I’d get in a wreck and suffer another head injury. Little did he know it was the helmet that helped cause the wreck.
I’m making great time on my bike, really covering a lot more ground than the last time, in less time, and I was feeling like I was about ready to be done rehabbing my legs and back and get back into real training, hard core training like I’m a professionally athlete again. It’s when I start feeling like this that I’m usually brought an experience to humble myself rather quickly.
I see something fly at me, just above my head, and I can’t tell what it is—I’m too busy listening to Lloyd Banks rap Warrior, and I’m feeling like a warrior, someone not to be toyed with because the consequences could be irreversible. It’s then that I feel something in my helmet. It’s not a leaf, or some other harmless piece of a tree or bush, but a bee. This bee is stuck in my helmet, can’t fly out, so it’s stinging me. It’s hurting, but I’m really moving fast on the bike, so I can’t just pull over. It’s still stinging me, I’m starting to panic at this point, so I’m moving my helmet around on my head, trying to get the bee out, but it’s not working—it’s still stinging me. I’m still panicking, a little bit, so I’m trying to take the helmet off and stop the bike which is like trying talk and cough at the same time: neither is all that successful. I start to pull my bike off the concrete trail, my right hand fumbling with the helmet strap, my left hand applying the front brake. This was not a good thing: the tires on my bike are really skinny, and turning the front tire while applying the brake like a desperate man, brought my two hundred forty pounds forward rather quickly. I’m not sure if I jumped off the bike, or fell, but at some point I was up and to the left of the bike, executing I’m sure what must have looked like a cartwheel with my hands, knee and butt, but I’m not sure what handed first. My head is still stinging, but at this point I’m inspecting my hands, making sure they aren’t a bloody mess, which they weren’t, then unsnapped the helmet, something I was unable to do while on the bike, flung it off, and saw the bee on the ground, and I could see it’s stinger, part of it’s mid section ripped. It was unable to fly. I remember reading an article about how bees were dying, and steps needed to be taken to help save the bees, how important they were for pollination. I stood up, stepped on him and smeared his insides over the concrete next to where my outsides were smeared on the concrete.
I was bleeding from my right calf, my left knee, my left elbow—which hurt, but I didn’t remember it being a part of the afore mentioned cartwheel—my hands bruised from absorbing the weight of my fall, and I’m mad. I’m thinking, “If I hadn’t worn my helmet, I’d be fine right now,” but I did almost get into a head on collision with another biker who had crossed the center line, but I’m still mad. My bike chain is off, so I have to fix that, and I’m debating if I need to go home, or if I can wash up, clean my cuts and scrapes in the sink with soap, of if I need to go the route of hydrogen peroxide. And then, I realize I’ll have to make my way through all the people who are in Old Town, all the freaks—guys wearing dresses, girls wearing gymnastics leotards, people wearing the most bizarre costumes while riding their bikes—who stand in my way, while I’m bleeding on a bike—I could see the blood slowly moving down my leg. Once I made my way back to the freaks, I hollered, “Move! I’m bleeding!” and I wished I had rode the stationary bike instead. But, I also knew, once I was cleaned, and bandaged, I'd have something to write about.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Will and I arrived here late yesterday afternoon and have been bowled over ever since by this charming little town, all the amazing history, and the terrific things that are happening in our Watershed Writing Workshop. About a year ago, we received a grant from the NWP Rural Sites Network to fund this dream of Starr Hill's, and now it's finally happening.
As usual, all the groovy writing project synchronicity is taking place, and we have a great bunch of participants who've worked some rigorous magic that they plan to take back to their classrooms. Starr has done an amazing job of building a community, getting them writing and reading and creating and blogging and on and on and on. Suffice it to say that this has exceeded everyone's highest expectations.
Gotta go right now for body biography presentations, lunch, and a writing marathon, so stay tuned for the results....
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Craig and Cindy were willing to walk a portion of the Freedom Trail with me so I could "ooh!" and "ahhh!" over the graves of dead revolutionaries. Craig took a lot of digi-pics, so perhaps one will show up here. We bought the requisite loads of Red Sox stuff - sorry, Cam, but your guys are currently 7 games out.
Finally, look for a podcast from Logan International Airport to show up soon. And you'll be hearing more from us about Teacher Research and Inquiry Initiatives.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Just a quick message to say that I just finished showed our Advanced Institute blog (and many of your individual blogs) to the participants here at the "Inside Inquiry" conference in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and they think your blogs--as well as the overall concept of our AI--are way cool! They also love it that we have a site blog and have admired our website, too.
Craig Moyer and Megan Baker are here with me, and they're cramming every resource about teacher research that they can into their heads, and I'm co-facilitating the conference with other members of the NWP Teacher Inquiry Communities Network leadership team. It's been a terrific, but very intense, experience, and we'll have lots of knowledge to share when we get back home.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
CSUWP fellow Megan Freeman will be the Featured Reader in the Poets' Co-op Reading series on 10/4.
The Poets' Co-op Fall 2007 Open Reading Series will be held on Thursday, September 6th, October 4th & November 1st at the Loveland Museum on the corner of Fifth & Lincoln. Readings will be downstairs at the Foote Gallery/Auditorium from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Complimentary snacks will be graciously provided by HENRY'S PUB (234 E. 4th St.).
Friday, July 06, 2007
The editorial/submission guidelines for Cricket Magazine and some other children's magazines published by Carus Publishing are here.
Kim's puke poem and some of the other work we heard this month are pieces that these magazines would seriously consider. Cricket pays 25 cents per word for stories and up to 3 dollars a line for poetry.
If you send something to them, be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
As I recall, my lovely wife Lauren's first real publication was a short story she placed in their teen mag Cicada.
If you're looking for another real audience for your students, I think Cicada also publishes some work written by teens themselves.
See you in September.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
In other news, on Saturday, July 14, there is a benefit for the Larimer County Hospice that includes a poetry reading and desserts. Among the readers will be some of my favorite poets: Lisa Zimmerman, John Calderazzo, Evan Oakley, Veronica Patterson, Beth Lechleitner, Linda Aldrich, and Jack Martin.
The Landry News by Andrew Clements
The School Story by Andrew Clements
Both of these books are great for those middle grade readers (4-6)
And they happen to be about kids who write!
Family Literacy: Easy Ways for Families to Read and Write Together by Marcia Ardis
This is a resource that is best suited for those lower elementary grades (K-3)
Family Literacy Experiences: Creating reading and writing opportunities that support classroom learning by Jennifer Rowsell
I was very excited about this text since it encompasses many different types of literacy activities and even validates the use of comic books as a valuable resource in the classroom!! Yahooo.
Friday, June 29, 2007
It will be SO great to see face-to-face at Tamasag today, but it's also been cool to lurk around here on the blog and get a sense of what's going in SI. Speaking of that...
The National Writing Project has asked our site to participate in a couple of sessions at the national conference in November (it will be in the Big Apple!) to discuss how we've integrated technology into our summer institute. I think it makes a lot of sense to focus on our blog during that session.
Along those lines, I'd like your permission to share these blog entries but also to hear any additional feedback you'd like to offer about your participation here or in other technological aspects (e.g., Diane's demo, the E-anthology) of the SI.
So what do you think? How has the technology piece of SI gone for you? If we didn't have anything happening digitally, how would your experience change?
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Last week, in a World Cafe format, we had many interesting discussions sparked by Chapter 6 of Because Writing Matters. Here were some of our thoughts:
*Comments on the difference between "assigning" and "teaching"
*Principals rarely ever have the time to observe, interview teachers and examine student writing, as the text suggests. They wear too many hats and only tend to come in for formal evaluations or in response to some kind of problem. We need educational leaders as principals!
*Ongoing process of professional development in the area of writing is necessary
*Great idea to survey teachers about writing and writing instruction
*Principals rarely write themselves...they should be involved in the NWP!
*Principal observations are going toward the "5-minute walk through" epidemic
*Staff buy-in in full is always difficult
I volunteered as "captain" of this group under the impression that we were playing kickball (very sneaky Craig)...is there a chance we will play at Tamasag? :)
See ya, Bissy
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Videos, I think they're flash videos, of something like 12 of Billy Collins' poems are at the Billy Collins--Action Poet web site.
Quickmuse is an interesting site. Poets are asked to compose a poem in 15 minutes or under in response to a prompt. As the poet composes, key strokes are collected. On this site you can watch those keystrokes appear. It's almost like sitting beside Robert Pinsky as he writes. Click on their archive button, and you will see that plenty of notable poets have played the quickmuse "game." I kind of like Matthew Rohrer's rambling poem. Quickmuse asked Rohrer to write in response to Bill Zavatsky's poem "Imaginary Brother."
Born Magazine is also worth exploring. Click on Enter Born Magazine once you're in.
This is a link to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. Their Directory holds links to the websites of all of their members. These websites contain submission info. After you click on the word "Directory" right here, or in the previous sentence, the index page will appear. Click on the words "All Members," and the links will appear.
If you're curious, you can get to the AI blog at http://www.csuwpai.blogspot.com, and you can click on any of the links down the side to get to our individual blogs and see what we're thinking about. We're writing on them daily during Morning Pages.
See you at Tamasag on Friday!
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
So -- let's start with the intro.
My name is Bud Hunt and I serve as Technology Liaison for the CSUWP. That means that it's my job to help you to integrate technology into your teaching when I can, as well as to help the project think about using technology in meaningful ways. For the most part, I just want to be a friendly face for you to bounce ideas off of or to ask questions of. (Of course, as the project continues to grow -- which is awesome! -- I may not be a real face for some of you -- but I'm happy to be a virtual resource. I check my e-mail lots and am online a great deal of the time -- ask Jason if you don't believe me!)
If you ever need help setting up a project, or have concerns about anything technical, please don't hesitate to ask. It's my job to help, and I take looking after teachers very seriously. You can reach me via e-mail or via this blog.
The Spring has been a very busy time for the CSUWP and technology, particularly within the national network. I was pleased to be a facilitator of a meeting on thinking about WP sites' web presences. I was asked to be involved because of the CSUWP's great history of using the web to facilitate our work. (Thanks, Will, for all the great website stuff that you do!) It was cool to help others' think about their web presence and how the work they do is bound up in how it's represented (or not) to the world.
Another project I have been pleased to support is the work of the first ever Advanced Institute at CSUWP. The AI is focused on the intersection of inquiry and technology, and Jason and Cindy have been facilitating folks' use of blogs to talk and reflect about their inquiry work. Those meetings take off next week -- and the online work has been going for a while. You should certainly take some time to read the AI blog and to take a look at individuals' blogs -- I wish I had more time to spend in conversation there, but I'm pleased that the great thinking and learning that's happening there is accessible to others and will ultimately be useful to lots of people.
Earlier this week, I was at a working meeting of the NWP discussing technology and writing in the 21st Century. I was honored to represent the CSUWP as we discussed tech and how it's altering the landscape of literacy, teaching and learning. Several smart folks have written (and podcasted) about their experiences, and I hope to write up some of mine over at my blog soon.
Whew -- that's a lot, huh? I hope you're up to good work and that you're going to share it via the blog. The entire network learns when you share what you can with us -- so always think blog!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Kim (the quiet one usually wearing a green top!)
"How has poetry moved from center stage to the margins of society?"
Wow... quite an issue but Kathleen tackled it well giving us ways of giving kids a different ways to analyze poetry (Junior High Audience) without her being the only one that is breaking it down. Using multiple genres (Bud... you listening?), Kathleen gives kids the chance to explore small sections of poetry to interpret and discover the poet's intentions. It was a great way of tackling a problem that I imagine many English teachers have. She also helped lower the anxiety of people like me (non-english teachers) and encouraged us to continue to utilize it in our classes in unconventional ways. Thanks Kathleen.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
A couple things we all want you to remember:
- Your question doesn't have to be pefectly formulated by the end of the SI - just enough to help you get your research prospectus written.
- Your question doesn't have to be fancy - just something you're wondering about in your classroom - as reflective teachers, you'll naturally be wondering something that other people would be interested in, too.
- You're not writing a PhD dissertation. We're not even asking you to have any research done by the end of the SI. It's simply a proposal for how you'll try to answer your question in your class(es) in the coming year. And, you include a brief bibliography of a few articles or books that have been written by others who are exploring this question. (My prospectus was 1.5 pages, single-spaced, with some bullets interspersed. No huge deal!)
Good luck - remember to ask us, especially Craig and Cindy, if you need help with teacher research.
How can I help my students from sentence to sentence and paragraph to paragraph – especially with quotations?
How can I break students of the habit of making a topic sentence a thesis? How do I help students make original claims?
How can I support students’ formal writing (essays) that will help them understand the formula and eventually move away from that?
How can I help students use an essay organizer as a tool rather than being controlled by it?
How do I move my students away from formula-based writing and teach them to use higher-level thinking as an analytical tool to drive their writing?
How do I assimilate Bloom’s taxonomy into actual writing pieces?
I wonder if gender grouping in writing groups might influence risk-taking and make for more meaningful writing?
What is the relationship between family literacy and at-home writing?
How do I move from an effective Student Discussion to an effective/meaningful writing piece?
What are children learning from media portrayals . . . how their parents are writing & speaking to issues that are relevant to the disenfranchised?
The first 5 days of SI are in the bag and we are pushing into the next one as I sit here on my day off at Mugs (surprise, surprise). It has been a quick week but an inspiring one. It seems shorter to me because I've been in and out of the room helping with the other 18 or so (feels like) programs that WP is putting on. It just shows all of us the impact that we are having on writing in FC and other areas near here. Young Writers, Week-long, New Teachers, and now Advanced Institute. And soon, Watershed Workshop, add'l YWWs and Week-longs. It's amazing where Cindy's vision has taken us in such a short time.
But as we all know it begins in that "cozy" room (Trudy's positive spin on everything) with different issues each year. No AC or windows in the past. This year it is simply a walk-in closet. SI has changed many and is having an enormous impact on our students. And as fellows of this year's institute, watch for it... it will show up.
It may be September or December before the impact of SI hits you. Sobering up in July and August is always an important part of the process. But as any staff member will tell you, relish in it for the next 3 weeks. Enjoy the anxiety, hard work, deep thoughts, self-exploration, personal space and above all, the people that are in it with you. Every year I love it and being in the room much less this year, I'm realizing how much I will miss it. It changes me for the better every summer and will continue to do so no matter where I am.
Enjoy it while you can...
Saturday, June 16, 2007
While searching on the topic "altered books" this morning, I found this site. Writers take book pages and create found poetry. No rubber stamps, collage skills, or art papers required. Really. It's a great writing idea. Poetry from book pages. I think kids would love it. It makes me want to tear pages out of books and color them with crayons.
Since I don't get to present a morning pages during SI, indulge me and go to this site.
Thanks to Craig and Emily for sharing their home and deck and Daisy with all those people. It was fun to perch on the porch and soak up a beer, salsa, and rich conversation.
My plans: Rest. Enjoy my family and some quiet. Think and write. Post.
Hope you all get some of those things, too.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
That silence, that quiet that comes creative endeavors, was something that deserved recognition and celebration, no matter how long the beautiful quiet lasted.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Ah... a bunch of little Buds running around at CSU.
That's all we need.
Monday, June 04, 2007
In other CSUWP news, friend and colleague Heather Cyr (SI '06) is going to Scotland to study creative writing as part of the English Speaking Union's British Universities Summer School Program.
We are all excited to be spending our summers in a "state of constant composition", and bringing back new work and new insights to share with our students. Best of luck to all the Summer Institute Fellows for '07. You'll never be the same!
But despite that we had a great time. It is so great to see people light up with passion at writing and teaching writing. And as always, I have come away with some great ideas. Hopefully the first day of the other weeklong went well too.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I went to the coffee shop we frequented two years ago, thought about Nicole Marc and how I haven't seen her in forever, and wrote, looking at the hillside of the town. I walked down by the river, sat at a bench and let the sun warm body against the cool wind that blew in. I wrote about relationships, watched red ants scurry below my feet at cookie crumbs dropped by children, and smiled at how a change in location could bring things out of me I had forgotten were there.
We met up at The Wheel, enjoyed some drinks and then went back home.
We cooked pizzas, snacked, and talked about our lives. It was the first time I had seen Ruth in at least two years. For Kim Penn and Beth, it was a chance for half of their writing group to get together. We shared prompts, food, wine, writing, and stories.
The morning was brief, with a 10am checkout time, but enough time to do some writing, eat cold pizza and cookies, and head into Estes for coffee, morning paper, but for me, write some more. I don't remember the last time I wrote, by hand, for over an hour.
When I got back to Fort Collins, after a brief meeting for SI, I went out for lunch and had to finish what I started up at Estes. When I'm done, I'll spend more time time today for doing the same thing. It reminds me of when I went through the SI in 2003, and I'd leave my writing group and CSU and would go home, turn off my phone and do nothing but write for two or three hours.
I hope you can make it next year.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Also, you might want to check out the new website for the CSUWP that Will Allen, our webmaster, has put together. You'll see lots of photos, Cindy's new podcast (hooray, Cindy!), and some regular videos about project work and people. There's also lots of good writing by our friends and colleagues. Let Cindy know and she'll add you to the collection.
What are you up to? Please share. Leave a comment letting us know what good stuff you're doing right now!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
I presented my workshop on using public speaking to assess student writing (and stop taking papers home to grade!) It was very well attended and I only came home with one of my sixty handouts. If I knew how to attach a file, I'd attach part of my packet here. (Bud?) In preparing for the workshop, I discovered that I have a twelve-step process to assess writing using public speaking, the first of which ought to be Admitting We Are Powerless Over Grading and that Our Lives Have Become Unmanageable. Keep It Simple...One Paper At A Time. In all seriousness, it's a great paradigm, as it makes it possible for papers to BE COMPLETELY GRADED by the time the student finishes presenting it orally to the class. Nothing left to do in prep period except, well, prep!
I'm so grateful to the CSUWP and to Bud for getting me up and running in the presentation game. It's really great fun and I made some nice connections with other passionate teachers. I saw lots of folks from the Denver Writing Project, the Rocky Mountain Writing Project and the Colorado Writing Project. Alas, no familiar CSUWP faces, though. Rumor has it that next year the conference is coming to Denver (at last!), so perhaps more of us can attend. I know more folks in my department will be inclined to come if they don't have to pay Broadmoor prices for lodging.
Best wishes for a relaxing and rejuvenating spring break!!
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Now that my computer is out and open, I'm no longer laughing, and people are no longer staring at me, I'm reminded of some of my own funny childhood moments, similar to Mr. King. Why not write about them?
Pick up the book. Once it's open, you'll only want to put it down so you can write.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
So, I'm sitting here in Starry Night, looking over some of my stuff, and I took Cindy's advice and put some of my poetry up on my blog. If you have the time, swing by http://camdaram.blogspot.com and check out my poems. Please post any comments you may have: reactions, first thoughts, items you feel need to be addressed.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
1. The Summer Institute, of course - Deadline Feb. 12
2. 4 weeklong workshops, including a new one for teachers in their first 3 years and another for rural teachers as well - Deadline May 4
3. 2 Young Writers Workshops, one at CSU and one in Longmont - Deadline not decided yet
4. AN ADVANCED INSTITUTE integrating teacher research and technology! This will take place June 25-July 6. It's free and open to any CSUWP fellow. Details soon to come.
So please help us with recruiting for the summer institute and weeklong workshops. You are our most reliable connections to good people. Just e-mail me for applications if you need them.
Recruiting for Young Writers will begin soon as well, though we don't have the registration forms ready yet. And I'm working on an e-mail for the Advanced Institute right now. I challenge you to find a program to plug into! It will help us, sure, but it is guaranteed to be rejuvenating and fun for you, too.