Students here think they’re so EXTREME, yet they couldn’t handle a little Verdi opera as they came in to class today. Several students were literally unable to hold their heads up under the brutal beating provided by the voice of Maria Callas wailing away in her upper registers.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Maria Callas, as a singer, is seriously out of control, but this is pretty terrific stuff, and should be no big deal to the school’s legion Slayer and Slipknot fans. But I guess they’re just not extreme enough.

Anyway, we did something else that also might have been too extreme: We started the first draft of our Catcher essays. Starting an essay has got to be one of the hardest things there is to do in all the world. I’ve tried everything I can think of to ease the class into it–we’ve brainstormed, and discovery drafted, and discussed, and looked at examples, but at some point you just have to start writing, and today was it. Most students who did the first three steps on the essay description sheet from last week were totally fine and came up with pretty respectable first drafts. Some students, however, were severely browbeaten by today’s work. I help as much as I can. I encourage, I spin off ideas, I suggest wording, but in the end there’s just brutal hard work that has to be done on one’s own.

If you missed today, you should complete step 4 from the essay description worksheet. This step instructs you to use your discovery draft to complete a first draft of your essay. The difference between the discovery draft and the first draft is summarized in the handy information sheet available for download at the bottom of this post. Basically, I want you to focus on some sort of rudimentary introductory paragraph on this draft, as well as dialing in your overall essay structure and paragraph composition. That sounds complicated. Just read the handout. The handout will solve all of your problems. The handout is all-knowing and all-powerful. Oh great handout, we praise thy magnificent virtues and thy prolific clipart.



Download: How to Write a First Draft

4 responses to “3/5/2007

  1. I was able to stand it. If I can stand death metal (NOT one of my favorite genres, FYI), I can stand opra. Opra and classical music used to be my favorite kind of music, but now I have moved on to the sub-genres of Hard Rock and Metal.

    “Because I am Stricken
    And can’t let you go
    When the heart is cold
    Theres no hope and we know
    That I am crippled by all that you’ve done
    Into the abyss will I run”

    Sorry, I usualy have to include lyrics from my favorite band if I start talking about hard rock. I sometimes wonder if I am overly obsessed with Disturbed’s sound and lyrics. \m/

  2. That’s interesting. Another student told me today that he had stopped listening to Slayer and is now into Sufjan Stevens. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love Sufjan, but that’s a pretty big leap. Sufjan sings about large waterfowl and cereal and Jesus. Hm. Maybe it’s not so different than Slayer…

  3. That is a big leap! Thats like me going from Disturbed to Ritsuki Nakano (professionaly known as Rikki). But then, both of their lyrics could be relatable to eachother. Like Sickened (disturbed) and Pure Heart (Rikki). Oh my god, I just opened a door in my mind and now I am in a new universe of comparison. Woah.

  4. Apparently, we all love the opposite of what we love, or something…

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