about bliss

Friday, February 20, 2009

daily bliss: metaphors and other analogies

I love to teach in metaphor and analogy: the quote sandwich, the amusing story about being chased through the woods by a bear to show the importance of bridges (i.e. transitions), the diction levels as dress code are some of my best bits.

Just today, I was thinking of a new metaphor. I want students to understand that you simply can't approach every writing situation in the same way, and to understand that our class provides a variety of tools to use as needed.

Rather like Blossom, and her attachments. I didn't know, at first, to only use the whisk for actual whipping. No wonder my inaugural baking projects fell flat. The paddle attachment is by far the most versatile, but still not always appropriate. And then there are all the special attachments with highly specialized uses--ice cream maker, pasta machine, meat grinder...

The whole kitchen is filled with tools that are either multi-purpose or highly specialized, and, as one grows in skill and ambition, one just may need more tools to approach all tasks OR the critical thinking skills to know when and how to improvise.

Now, if only my students cooked, I would have a whole new approach to teaching writing:)

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