The same old problem: I realize after a student has left I’ve been doing too much talking and not enough listening.
Sometimes it’s shy studentes who are afraid to be in control: tell me how to fix it, tell me what you want.
And they are not completely wrong. What I want, how I will grade, these are important to them.
But I also want them to begin to see that what matters most is what they want because after they leave this class they must be their own writers.
But mostly I like to hear myself speak. Am uncomfortable with the silences, don’t know what are the right questions to ask. Fill up the void by trying to tell them what to do.
I wish I could just teach writing without having to grade.
Why is it only now that I think to say: Donald, I have read dozens of pretty vacation stories, but your flashbacks at Gettysburg are unique. I’ve never seen anything like them. They may be hard to write, but I think you should pursue them.
Always the words after the door has shut.
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