Tobey's Thesis Thoughts 2016-02-10 21:49:00

The Best Free Write Ever Assigned!!

So Dr. Zamora says when I write this week think about my goals for when I finish my thesis. Then she suggests to get dreamy. What would I do If I really could?  No holds barred. What a fun assignment! So I was thinking in terms of personally and professionally. 

Personally, I would love to continue to work on myself as a writer. I have really enjoyed experimenting with creative nonfiction writing. Exploring my past and my childhood years through writing is not only nostalgic but has been fruitful. My brother in all his wisdom, told me that no one is really going to want to read about someone they didn't know, so I should put my writing to good use and find interesting and somewhat popular people in NJ to interview and tell tales of their childhoods. He sounds pretty insensitive,  but he's just my brother. Many people get started as unknowns. Now I don't know if I'd write for publishing or just for me, but since I'm dreaming here...

My family has also time and again discussed how someone must capture the cornucopia that is my father's life. My dad has been a story teller since I was a little girl. I heard stories of his days growing up "down neck." Stories that felt as though my dad and his brother ran a gang of kids like in the Little Rascals or like the kids in the movies A Bronx Tale or Sleepers. As I got older, we sat around the kitchen table mesmerized by tales of his time in the Air Force during the Korean War or his strange but true encounters with famous people including Elvis Presley. Stories highlighting hysterical rendezvous with the many female companions he boasts about are some of my favorites. Therefore, dream number two or maybe it's number one: I'd love to write my dad's biography, or several memoirs. We even have a title picked out: Down Neck: Tales from my Father. I think my fear is that I couldn't do it justice. He is truly, truly an amazing storyteller. I fear my words would fall flat.

And to get super dreamy here, my utopia: an empty beach all mine, my dogs, the sun, good food and drink, quiet, writing poetry. Poetry from my past, present, and future.

Professionally, I'd like to create units that are not based solely on the Common Core State Standards. My kids no longer write poetry because it is not supported by CCSS. We had a fun poetry unit in 7th grade that has been dismantled. The kids loved this unit.  Ignoring CC and creating  a unit that inspires my students on a different level would be great. Many of them are never exposed to poetry and if they are it's not until they are in high school and take a creative writing course. Hey...maybe what we need is an elective creative writing course for middle school. Put all of the ripped up and disassembled units destroyed by CC back together agin, but in a much cooler way. Integrating collaborative work and multi-modal takes on assignments.

Teaching adults??? I go back and forth with it. I like that I will have the degree to fall back on if I ever needed it. I know that when I started my first year of grad school, that was my ultimate goal, but I'm not sure that it is any more. There are days when I think about how nice it would be to have a room full of adults instead of whiny kids who didn't do their homework. I think as long as I feel happy in my position and my hubby is not ready to pack up and move to Asheville, I'll probably stay put. Linwood Middle School is in sense a home to me. I know I'm not staying there until our new retirement age of 60! Adults could seem nice by then. How about a nice adjunct position teaching creative writing to a classroom full of eager adults. It does have a nice ring.

Finally I think of The Rainbow Academy in Asheville. My sister and I stumbled upon this school's site when we were playing around and looking for teaching jobs for me. We didn't really scope it out seriously, but it opened my eyes to the fact that the area of Asheville is abundant with these "alternative" type schools. I told my sis that if hired by Rainbow Academy, I was going to take my sixth grade class out kayaking on The French Broad River. We would stop about half way and journal for awhile, sparking ideas for a creative writing piece that we would develop later in the classroom. Ahhh. That sounds wonderful!

It's so nice to dream...