Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Step One: Retrieve Motor

I learn so much from my students!

In a community college, perhaps more than in other educational institutions, learning happens both ways. I may be helping my students to learn how to write in coherent English in a way that communicates with the rest of the world. But at the same time, I learn a lot from my students.

This week, I was grading papers written by an English 0750 (Practical Writing) class. The assignment was to write a set of instructions. One set of instructions began, "First, retrieve your motor from the bottom of the lake …"

What followed was a set of instructions that could be valuable to a lot of boaters – how to resuscitate a drowned outboard motor and make it live again.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Carol Anne said...

Pat suggests that I am unfairly tantalizing readers by talking about these instructions without actually posting them. However, I wouldn't want to post my student's work online without his permission. If he gives the go-ahead, I'll post them.

Meanwhile, another component of the class is an oral presentation. Since a lot of people are afraid of speaking in front of groups, I don't make it a requirement of the course, but I do allow students to earn extra credit by making a presentation. I give them a choice: present their research report, or demonstrate their instructions.

This student decided he wants to demonstrate his instructions ... and Pat and I are providing the motor for him to demonstrate on.

Sat Mar 21, 09:06:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Programming note: Visitor 49K was somebody in upstate New York with a question related to towing a sailboat on a trailer.

The next milestone will be a biggie: 50,000. I'm thinking of doing something special to commemorate the occasion, and maybe offering a special prize to Visitor 50K. I'm open to suggestions on both issues.

Wed Mar 25, 01:46:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Gerald said...

Beer is always a good option as a prize, especially if it involves a rain check to whatever microbrewery is closest/most favored by the winner.

Thu Mar 26, 06:49:00 PM MDT  

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