Wednesday, November 5, 2014

student writing

What delight when a teacher gives a short essay test and several 
students say  "thank you" and " that was fun." This happened to me yesterday 
and I nodded in my thoughts: "Charlotte Mason was right."
 ( from In  Memoriam:  At the end of every term we used to go up to say "Good-bye" to her, and she would ask us whether we had liked the exams, and if we thought we had done well, and what we were going to do in the holidays, and many other such questions.)

  I took this PNEU question for Jane Austen and turned to Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter:

PNEU exam question: Mention any biographical touches in Emma, and show wherein the
                                      strength, b) the weakness of character of the heroine.

 My Exam: Describe each character, then show wherein lay the strength and weakness of

                  a) Hester Prynne
                  b) Arthur Dimmesdale
                  c) Roger Chillingworth
                  d) Pearl

( from the Murmuring Cottage)

Then  , one of my student's journal writing grabbed  hold of me and made 
me laugh and be tickled. She loves CATS. She loves people too and has 
never met a stranger as the saying goes. Here is a taste of her writing ( she is 16):

" I know that being still and silent is important for the soul. I know that at times 
it is very necessary to be quiet , still and simply wait. And that challenges me."

About one of her favorite books ( from a chapter in Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre) : " When I think about Peter and the Starcatchers , I feel 
as if my soul is floating. When I think back to the book, I am there. I can see flying camels,
feel the rocking of the ship, and hear the squeaking of rats, and fat women saying 
'Pardon my French.'I feel the misty London air at midnight and I can see Tinkerbell
flying over the dusty grey chimneys." 

From the chapter on Translations in Caring for Words: " In Zambia , I meet 
a woman named " Gracious " and a woman named " Memory."

For the chapter from Caring for Words on Good Conversations , she wrote what a good conversation would  sound like by asking herself questions and here are some of her answers:

1. Who are you? 
2. What is it like living your particular life? (It is very odd. I am often as jubilant as a 
hummingbird appears to be, but I also get very sad for long periods of time for almost
no reason..... I realize that life and time are moving slowly, and that it is very rare, so 
boring moments are to be appreciated.) 
3 .How do you cope with suffering ?
4. How do you feel about the challenges you encounter in the world you are 
5. Why have you made the particular choices you have made so far?
6. What delights you? ( Kittens. Puppies that are asleep and therefore do not move. Lemon tarts....Thinking back to a good book. Talking to old friends as if you never stopped.
Knowing all the words to a fast song. )
7. What makes you afraid? ( being alone in a crowd of people I don't know)
8. What may we offer one another at this stage of our journey? ( to someone younger, 
wisdom and to someone older, listen and  respect. )


My daughter's writing at the end of this blog on Poetry: here