Friday, March 21, 2014

Book #31: Super Secret Awesome Book Club #stayclassy

He passes me as I'm going up the stairs and he's coming down.  Just for the record, it is MUCH easier to go up stairs than down stairs in bifocals and a long dress and platform shoes.  Try it. Good luck.

Have you READ it yet? he asks not quite annoyed, but maybe just a little, like anyone would be when you have given someone treasure and they haven't found it.

Which book?

He reminds me and I take it as a sign to absolutely read that book next, before I write about my trip to Cuba, after I finish holding onto Carly's world from Book #30 and after I read and grade the Dale Mabry Airfield Project submissions

With all that done I settle myself in a corner and open Book #31 and finish it in one binge and fall in love with it permanently and foreverrrrrrrr.

But before I tell you about that I need to tell you about the Enchanted Window projects.

Have you read them? They range from hum-drum to limp to really enthusiastic. I don't think I posted the worst of them. All of the worst submissions come from one class so I decide to give those 10 students a chance to compete before being eliminated.

 I post a link for them to resubmit, but I don't write about it on Blackboard or send it through email. That's too desperate.

Anyone who wants to be excellent should want to come to class and get as much as they can, right? Professors don't chase students down and force education down their throats. That's not how anything good works.

Every great game has a cheat code, a short cut or bonus hiding in plain sight where only seekers will find it, so I'm burying it here. 

Anyone who missed class today didn't get the rest of the assignment, and if they don't submit part 2 they can't do parts 3 and 4, so missing one day is a BIG deal.  But listen, if you missed the deadline for part 1 and read this and jump in, shhhhhhh, I might not tell anyone and I might be impressed by your effort.

Part 2 of the Dale Mabry field project explanation is a research proposal to write a story that has never before been told.  This story must be set in WW2 and at least tangentially connected to Dale Mabry field, even if by only the thinnest thread.

Here are the 4 questions you need to address in your proposal -- remember that brevity will get you nowhere - only the most thoughtful responses to move on to the next round.

  1) Would you rather write historical fiction (based in fact and reality -- no Nazi's invading Lake Ella, got it?) or research something that really happened and reconstruct it from a non-fiction perspective? 2) Will your story focus on an individual? A group? A material item (ex: plane)? or a Place? or a combination?  3) What source will you use? Please please please go visit a librarian they are so super cool. Go look for old magazines, old newspapers, microfilm, family records, pictures. Get creative. Use both primary and secondary sources. 4) Everyone needs a writing partner/coach. Who will be editing and proofreading your next 2 submissions? Will you use someone you know or will you go to the Learning Commons?

Because we live in a free world I want to make a super secret bonus choice for the students who don't want to do the Enchanted Window project and deal with the possibility of being eliminated or losing money.
Many of you prefer reading to writing, so lets make a super secret awesome book club.  I will pay you $20 for each GREAT book review you write for a class-related book that you have read and you would recommend to people who want to read important smart books. These book reviews are due on Blackboard through the links posted for the $100 project following the deadlines posted for the $100 project (see the Blackboard button -3/26, 3/28, etc).

So back to Book #31. Ready?

Book #31 is by Ron Burgundy, the Anchorman.

I know. I thought it would be silly, that it would be immature, that it would suck.

It exceeds my expectations by 2,000%.

I finish it faster than I could watch an entire movie created from this book, laughing freely and happily.

The next day in class I point at the student who assigned me the book (the one who tries to hide working on analytical geometry during my class) and tell him it was a BRILLIANT choice to assign me that book and I'd totally recommend it to everyone, students and friends and smart people who like books in general.

You need to read this book.

Ron Burgundy is a great author with great hair who will always #stayclassy.