I followed a trackback to a post on my writing class (which is now history, like the rest of my classes from last semesteryay!) and discovered an interesting Foreigner-in-China Blog called Metanoiac. Among the articles were links to the following:
- 33 Reasons Why you shouldn’t post your picture on the internet
- a link to a piece about a rapping flight attendant who wants asshole passengers to know that they’re not God. I like the attitude, even if I can’t understand a word of it.
- Some absolutely crazy menu stuff, even better than I used to see in Iksan where the bars offered treats like “Jack and Cock” and “Strange Fruit” (no reference to Billie Holiday intended). This stuff is even better than that.
- I’m not the only teacher dealing with the general difficulty of teaching a writing class.
The poster at Metanoiac, who is named Matt, deals with vocabulary. I told my students that I would be focusing on structure, and actually I found that they made some real progress; it was a realistic area to focus on, since it’s the biggest thing that’s wrong with their writing, which can be fixed easily and lead to greater comprehensibility. However, I have been thinking about exercises in word usage, and in sentence structure. Not grammar, per se, because there’s no sense in turning a writing class into yet another damned grammar class; but more like exercises in using certain kinds of sentences: questions, logical/sequential statements (because, although, if-then, after, before, while). It’ll take some thought. But honestly I’m not looking to teach another writing class next term unless it’s absolutely necessary. It’s not as if I get anything out of it but the pleasure of a good class, or the torment of a bad one, but it does add a load of more work to my term, and it’s largely unappreciated (or unappreciated largely) by the Uni.
So Metanoiac is worth checking out. Go have a look.