Friday, September 04, 2009

Read to Write

I think the first couple weeks of class have gone well. We're settling into more of a routine, and I am starting to actually believe that I am a professor. Today will be their first graded assignment, though, which may change the equation a bit. I'm not used to being the bad guy, so I'm concerned about flunking students if their work isn't up to the necessary standard. I guess I should wait to worry about that until they actually turn in their first essay, though.

On several occasions, I've tried to emphasis how important it is to read to become a good writer. No matter what you type of literature you prefer, reading will ALWAYS make you a better writer, especially when it comes to grammar and punctuation. As you see where commas go, you will subconsciously get a feel for when a comma is needed or not.

I'm not sure that they are convinced, though. It feels like a bit of a hopeless task. How can you imbue college students with a love of reading if it isn't there already? If they've spent most of their lives thinking that reading was something boring and dry, assigned by teachers and to be avoided whenever possible?

4 comments:

Jonathan said...

Make them watch Finding Forrester. I know it's not on the curriculum, but it will pay off in spades :)

M. Lubbers said...

I love that movie! I particularly like that version of "Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" that appears in it.

Maybe, even if they don't watch it, I should watch it again for inspiration.

Jennifer said...

Maybe I should watch that movie. :)

So, maybe I missed you posting, but is this a creative writing class for people majoring or a fundamental writing class? I ask because I would wonder why anyone who does not like to read was taking a creative writing class? :)

I miss reading. I used to read, at minimum, 30 books a year. I haven't read one yet this year. :( I am hoping that once Mark and I are used to living together, we'll both start getting used to doing our own thing and not feel bad for doing so. We just enjoy each other's company so much...

Anyway, I agree that reading helps your writing improve. I feel my writing has become very weak because of my lack of reading as well as typing informally on the internet. I haven't been inspired to write creatively in years either. Someday (soon I hope) that will change!

M. Lubbers said...

This is not a creative writing class. It's actually a developmental writing class—a precursor to English 101.

I've been missing reading since Eleanor has been born, too. But slowly I am finding more time to read. And I'm sure you and Mark will get sick of each other eventually and need a break ... right? ;)

Good luck with getting inspired to write again! I know I can hit dry spells for quite a while, either due to lack of inspiration or time. But when I am writing, I am happier.