Will Write for Likes or Follows

To view the solar eclipse, I headed to Boise, Idaho for a few days before venturing to Weiser, Idaho, and a site at a high school in the path of totality.

Boise was bustling with hordes of other eclipse enthusiasts exploring the area in anticipation of the main event.

At the Saturday morning farmers’ market,  there were all sort of buskers, including this talented b-boy performing for applause  and a dollar or two.

Speaking of applause, the creative writing students are blogging again this semester and need you support as they share their words and expand their audience. Please follow them, like them, and tell your friends about these diligent and creative writers.

https://ficticiouscivilservants.wordpress.com/  (note the spelling)

https://munchbunchblog.wordpress.com/

https://soundsofthesoulsite.wordpress.com/

https://virtualsoulfood.wordpress.com/

https://dailycupofwomen.wordpress.com/

And, a former student has started a blog at: https://kakainna.wordpress.com/ (Kakainna! is Tagalog for Eat Now!)

My fantastic former student also recommended the following blogging resources:

http://www.sacramentobloggers.com/ – A local group.  I attended a meeting of theirs a week ago, and the info exchanged was quite useful.  For example, we discussed the use of images, and the importance of confirming no copyright violations and, if using your own images, the importance of watermarking them (which I hadn’t even considered).  Attendees also spoke about affiliate links, which I’d never heard of previously.  We also discussed tips on generating more traffic to our blogs, such as group boards on Pinterest and something called “link parties.”  This was my first time attending a meeting, and I thought I’d go to this one, at least, to see if I found it useful, which it was.  There’s no cost for joining or attending.

https://2017.sacramento.wordcamp.org/ — This was brought up at the Sacramento Bloggers meeting.  It’s a series of sessions on using WordPress.  It takes place on September 16-17 and costs $40.

http://foodbloggerconference.org/ — The founder and organizer of Sacramento Bloggers is also on the advisory board of the International Food Blogger Conference.  She suggested to the non-food bloggers present that they still might want to attend as the content covered would benefit them as well, not just food bloggers.

 

Florentine Violin Maker

violin-maker

My father was a woodworker. He could make cabinets, furniture, and fine designs with his hands. He would sand and stain and sand some more long into midnight.

He would deliberately discover a piece of art in the trunk of a tamarisk tree or a common two-by-four.

On a side street in Florence, M and I watch a craftswoman producing a violin. Peering through her workshop window. Though I often joke that my hands are made only for typing and should not be counted on to sew, to whittle, or even to cook, I can’t help thinking about how her work is similar to drafting a piece of creative writing, how the end product requires the effort to shape a piece into a beautiful sound as well as story.

Speaking of beautiful sounds and stories, spring semester means students are collaborating on blogs again:

Daily Bread 400: https://dailybread400.wordpress.com/

Blissful Binge: https://blissfulbinge.wordpress.com/

Passions of 8: https://passionsof8.wordpress.com/

World of Actions & Reactions: https://creativeblogforclass.wordpress.com/

All Things Dreamy: https://allthingsdreamyblog.wordpress.com/

Please follow them, like them, and tell your friends about these diligent and creative writers.

Grades Are Posted

finalsStudents always ask questions that I cannot answer: How many people get A’s in this course?  This is in a Critical Thinking course where I want them to know what’s critical is that they are learning to think and that a grade cannot exactly measure their growth.  But I can’t tell them that grades don’t matter (to me as their teacher) because I know that they are the keys that these students are seeking, keys they can turn into universities, into careers, into happy, stable lives (no pressure). When they ask this, I offer what I can: the list of our assignments, the rubrics they are assessed by, the texts to read, the promise of lively discussions to illuminate the material, some extra credit, office hours, my willingness to respond to emails at nearly all hours of the day (provided they are not asking questions about what grade this essay would earn at this point). I want to say: you have an A; ow what will you learn?  But I know, for some of us, it would be far more productive to promise an F from day one.  It’s a tricky balance that we usually figure out by the time grades are posted.

Happy Halloween!

crc baseball

I received this photo by email earlier this morning, and at various points throughout the day today, I have had the chance to see it again in my inbox.  Every time I see it, I smile and can’t resist chuckling a little.  So, I had to share. This is the Cosumnes River College baseball team.  Go Hawks!

The End Is Near

CoverThe end of the semester is near, and the Creative Writing class is posting to their blogs one last week officially before they begin assessing their likes, followers, favorite posts, etc.  If you haven’t checked them out, please do.  If you haven’t liked anything lately, please like them.

Some of these writers will appear in the eighth-annual edition of our literary journal, a publication committed to publishing the art and writing of community college students and the rest of the world.

http://rosesandthornz.wordpress.com

http://strivetoexperience.wordpress.com

http://the7wordsoftheweek.wordpress.com

http://high5writing.wordpress.com