Friday, January 25, 2008

From the Mountains to the Sea

Two weeks ago I was in Cullowhee, NC for the NCCAT seminar; today I'm in Kiawah, SC presenting at the South Carolina Council of the Teachers of English. Believe it or not, it is colder along the coast of South Carolina than it was in the mountains! Such is the unpredictability of Carolina weather. Highlights of this conference have been:

  • The genuine warmth and hospitality of the SC teachers. They are an enthusaistic group of educators.
  • Meeting Art Young, the keynote speaker and one of the leaders in the field of Writing across the Curriculum. This morning he addressed the links between reading, writing, technology, and conversational learning. I was fascinated by the interaction of SC high school students; Clemson University students; and Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology students as they read T.S. Elliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and discussed it through a blog. What a remarkable way for students to think critically and be challenged by students from other peer groups and cultures!
  • Meeting a friend of Julie Graddy, Maupin House's publisher, from 30 years ago when they were friends in Gainesville, Florida. I sat next to her at lunch and within 3 minutes we'd found a connection. Small world.
  • Signing Teaching the Story—always fun!
  • Learning more about wikis and blogs. Technology in the classroom, as many of you know, is staring us in the face. The second edition of Teaching the Story will have several mini-lessons on using technology to teach students how to write fiction. Stay tuned for more details!
  • Walking by the ocean at sunset, where waves combed the beach leaving tendrils of sand to be washed away in tomorrow's tide.
  • Finding a perfect miniature conch shell which I will save for my granddaughter, Ebby.

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