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Thursday
Nov172011

CityLit Kids

 


(Photo credit: click from morguefile.com)

I have spent a lot of mornings with the fictional fifth graders of GENIE WISHES, but today I spent the morning with some very real, very cool fifth graders at a Baltimore elementary school. I was there as part of the CityLit Kids project, in which various Baltimore-area writers guide students through reading and creative writing exercises.

It was my second time observing this group of fifth graders, which contains some ambitious young writers. Nobody's pieces are perfect at first, of course--whose ever are?--but all the pieces have at least a nugget of greatness. With the help of the CityLit Kids instructors, the kids are learning not just to create but also to workshop and revise.

Sometimes the kids knock it out of the park, or maybe I should say rink. Two weeks ago, one student wrote, "Skateland tastes like pizza but smells like feet." How great is that?

If you'd like to learn more about CityLit Kids, a group I'm planning on working with more often, check out this recent article.

 
Thursday
Nov102011

Breathing Ghosts

 



This morning Baltimore woke to a damp, warm fog. My son and I drove to school through it, switching as always between his favorite two pop stations. At some point, after the Party Rock Anthem played for the bajillionth time this month, the morning DJ mentioned the fog. It felt like breathing ghosts, he said.

Breathing ghosts! William Faulkner himself could not have described it better.

The fog has vanished now, leaving behind the regular outlines of a world that is, I am once again reminded, full of poets.
Wednesday
Nov092011

That Cytoplasm Needs More Vanilla

cell tart

GENIE WISHES follows a group of kids through fifth grade. Like kids in schools everywhere, these fifth graders have projects to complete, everything from constructing bridges out of toothpicks to wrapping holiday gifts for homeless kids.

This week, the students in my son's seventh-grade science class had to build a model of an animal cell using any materials they wanted. Edible materials were a popular choice, of course. The photo above shows my son with his finished animal cell--a tart made from scratch. The pineapple ring is the nucleus, a strawberry the nucleolus, some kiwi bits the Golgi body, and so on.

I didn't get to taste the tart before it left for school, but I tried the leftover cytoplasm. It was delicious.

Sunday
Nov062011

Fledgling Post

 

Fledgling owls for a fledgling post...



 
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