Ms. Fanning

  • I remember high school – it was the best of times, it was the worst of times[i], right? I wince when I think of fighting with my best friend my freshman year and thinking that I’d never have a best friend again; I nearly laugh out loud when I remember the rhymes about our chemistry teacher. Sorry, Mr. McLean, I hope you never knew, and I suspect you didn’t, because, after all, half the time you didn’t even know whether or not I was in class.  But something that strikes me in retrospect is that none of my high school memories are about the “stuff” that we were learning. Somehow, class and life never came together in my mind. First you go to class, and then, after class is over, you live your life. And that’s a shame.

    Let’s not do that this year.  Let’s read in a way that changes us, builds our character, makes us question ourselves and our real lives. Let’s write only the words that are true and that matter. Let’s talk to each other, in and out of class, in a way that makes people want to not just listen, but really hear us. Let’s work on having something to say.

    Welcome.  I can’t wait.

    [i]  What’s wrong with this sentence? It’s plagiarized, for one thing, and a run-on besides. But that’s what we do for style. Totally unacceptable, by the way, except that I am admitting it here.

    5-poing grading scale:

    5 – exceptional, shows effort and improvement, needs little to no revision.

    4 – good, shows good understanding, skill, and effort.

    3 – acceptable, shows some effort, a general understanding of the task, and an acceptable level of skill.

    2 – passing, but not much more than that, needs serious revision, editing, more effort.

    1 – failing, shows evidence of little or no effort, incomplete, deviates from the assignment.


    5         =       A

    4         =       B

    3         =       C

    2         =       D

    1         =       F


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