Why I Write @Twitter

This is “National Day of Writing” – sponsored by the National Writing Project, National Council of Teachers of English, the New York Times Learning Network, and the Teaching Channel.  They  “invite you to celebrate writing in all its forms.”

I still can’t get past the fact that “National Day of Writing” sounds like a typographical error.

Writing can be a good thing as long as I don’t have to read too many emissions from political speechwriters.

George Orwell wrote the best response I have seen on “Why I Write.”  But he died before Twitter was launched, so his work is no longer relevant.

The National Day on Writing folks are encouraging people to tweet an answer to #WhyIWrite .   My carping follows –


4 Responses to Why I Write @Twitter

  1. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit October 21, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    It will surprise no one who knows me that on the National Day ** Writing … I’ll be teaching speaking.

  2. Jim October 21, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    I hope your students appreciate your talents on this subject. You bring a passion & a savvy to this topic that I rarely saw in classrooms at either high school or college levels.

    • The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit October 21, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

      I was incredibly lucky in that most of my teachers over the years at all levels were enthusiastic about their topics and had no problem showing it. One of my best stories ever is the fifth grade science teacher who turned a toy into a teaching moment.

      The Catholic kids got to leave school on Tuesday afternoon for church classes (don’t know how to spell “catechism”) which left all us Protestants sitting around with nothing to do. I was sitting in the classroom (they’d essentially become study halls) fiddling with a prize from a cereal box – in this case a little flying saucer from Quisp, which could launch a tiny grappling hook. Mr. Sonnenberg came over to see what I was doing and I thought for sure he was going to cause me to suffer some harm. Instead, he took the little thing and motioned me over to the piano. He then set it up on the top of the piano and launched the hook. He put some cards under the front to raise it and launched it again, marking the spot where the hook landed. He kept on doing this, asking me where I thought the hook would land … and eventually was at the chalkboard drawing diagrams and charts and essentially explaining ballistics to me.

      Or Mr. Whitmer, who used to let me futz around in the back of his classroom and play with all the neat science toys instead of sitting in the auditorium waiting for all the bused students to arrive. Or Mr. Stchur who dragooned me (cheerfully, on both our parts) into helping him do sciencey stuff in his class.

      I also know what I can’t do well – I do not do a good job of inspiring students who don’t want to learn. I spent too much time NOT learning because teachers had to deal with louts like that, and teachers who can inspire are, like, gods. I work best with “wanna be theres.”

      And, as one student said on Monday, “I never thought I’d actually look forward to speech class – this is my favorite class!”


  3. Jim October 21, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

    This confirms my hunch that your students are lucky.

    I did not get good instruction in grammar in junior high or high school – – had a lot of catching up to do later on because of that.

    Saw a few posts on the Internet stating that the National Council of Teachers of English are vigorously opposed to teaching grammar — not sure if that is a fair summary but if so…. [redacted]