Thursday, April 7, 2005

Reflective learning

Reflection mode. 

Ready to begin the editing process, starting tomorrow. 

                        *     *     *

Once I've edited the first half of the screenplay, I'll begin the second.

I'm hoping that it will come out tighter.  That I'll do more editing in my head.

That I'm learning something.

                        *     *     *

In school, I'm teaching the process of writing an analytical paragraph. 

Over the next month, my seventh graders will write approximately 20 first drafts.  Then they'll edit and revise and polish one of those paragraphs to perfection.

Each student will earn two major grades.

The first will be based upon the improvement she's made across the course of twenty rough drafts.

The second grade will be based upon her ability to edit and polish a paragraph successfully, using the grammar skills she's practicing in class.

                        *     *     *

I feel like I'm taking my own class.

I'm mastering the process.  The screenplay itself is secondary, I suppose.

                        *     *     *

Tonight, I've been refreshing myself with the rules of the form.

Tomorrow I will begin to analyze the rough work I've done over the last two weeks.  I will figure out what's working well, and what needs to be trimmed.

To prepare for this, I finally purchased (for the second time ... I left my original copy in Ohio with a friend two summers ago) what has become my second screenwriter's bible:  Denny Martin Flinn's How NOT to Write a Screenplay

Then I took it to a Starbucks and reread it, highlighting the points that stuck out to me.

Finally, I went home and codified what stuck out to me.

                        *     *     *

I taped this five-page document above my computer. 

I plan to master Flinn's suggestions as I work.

                        *     *     *

I feel the annoyance of having to shift out of right-brain dominance.  I use mostly left-brain skills to teach.

And edit.

I don't have a choice if I wish to 1) accomplish the editing task; and 2) teach and manage my students effectively.

                        *     *     *


Spring Break is over.

And I still feel off.

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