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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 decade ago

Chicago teacher's journal- here's an excerpt... I'd love your opinions!?

August 23, 2003 #1

First faculty meeting

Mr. Snow loves motivational speakers. So much that he is willing to forkover hundreds of dollars for several hours of their priceless entertainment. Forget that books in the library are discarded from other libraries. No big deal that abstesos tile cracks without proper repair in the hallways. So what if the floors are filthy and roaches crawl on children’s desks.

This is Snow’s means of bringing the faculty back with a ray of sunshine. So, Sparky, the motivational speaker, a reformed coke-head entertainment executive now turned deacon/teacher/motivational speaker, jumped and cheered and yelled and screamed and told stories and prayed while Snow looked on like a proud father at his son’s recital or play. The theatrics weren’t pleasing anyone; teachers were concerned about who got the last jelly donut.

(To be continued...)


Mary Grace, the sixth grade teacher, whispered to me, “How is this relevant to our teaching? He just throws money out the freakin’ window.”

So as Sparky passed out lollipops and sticker like we were kindergartners, some perky teachers like Esther, the fourth grade teacher, just ate it up while others rolled their eyes. He continued to jump and vogue and spin and shine for the next few hours. Sparky’s mantra was “everyone in the world is constipated, don’t be constipated”.

Sparky, Sparky, Sparky. The last thing I’m worried about is other people’s bowel issues. I’m worried about how the hell I’m gonna make it through this year with the most notorious class Sacred Heart of Judas has ever seen.

Update 2:

To those who have written and will write: This is an excerpt of my journal. Any opinions, advice, editing, comments, etc. on content or grammar would be appreciate. I want to see if Mr. Snow was painted well in this scene through his actions.

Update 3:

excuse my two typos. "stickers" and "appreciated" i am tired. worked all night last night!

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Per your additional comments:

    You don't give me enough to go on here, so I really can't comment on how well Mr. Snow is sketched. You barely mention him. About your style, I have some comments...

    You write well (and I know good writing); but there are some serious flaws...

    "Fork" and "Over" are two words, not one.

    Eliminate the the period between your first two sentences. If you read them carefully you'll see they're really one sentence. And don't say "he is;" contractions are a normal part of speech. Instead, say, "he's willing to fork over..."

    Replace the period with a double-dash at the end of the sentence

    which opens, "Forget that books..." The next sentence is only a dependent clause, and needs the other sentence for support.

    I like the roaches; it's a nice touch -- very visual.

    Change "Snow's means" to "Snow's way."

    Eliminate the comma between "So" and "Sparky," and stay in proper tense (So there's Sparky, the motivational speaker,...)

    You have to get over your repeated use of the word, "and." Consider that you're already giving the reader quite a list. How's this instead?

    "...jumping and cheering, telling stories, shouting and praying, while Snow..." And drop "play" from the sentence -- just make it "son's recital."

    Since you're writing this in the first-person, why not say "most of us were secretly fixating on who'd get the last jelly donut."[Can you see why that sentence is "richer?" You need to go for more evocative texture in your writing. Imagery. Imagery. Imagery.]

    In your next section you have Mary Grace say "out the freakin' window." She's a teacher, and this is bad grammar (out of the? or, if you need to maintain a slangy feel, "outta the").

    Change "kindergartners" to "mildly retentive pre-schoolers."

    Change "some perky teachers" to "some relentlessly perky types."

    Insert a comma after "ate it up (comma) while most of us just sat there in a lollipop and jelly donut sugar-coma rolling our eyes" [Please note: I've moved from your original third-person-plural, to first-person-plural. If you're going to write in first-person -- stay in first-person. Also do you hear the increased resonance achieved by hearkening back to the donuts and lollipops?]

    You offer another list with "and." Use commas instead. Unless absolutely mandatory, a list should read like this -- "...jump, vogue, spin, and shine..." -- only one "and" is allowed.

    You mention "constipated" twice -- that's not funny. Replace the second "constipated" with "stuck-up" -- (That's funny).

    You're trying for broad sarcasm in the opening of your next paragraph; but I have to be honest, it has no "zing;" it's flat. How about...

    "Sparky; trust me, babe -- the last thing on earth I'm worried about is someone else's 'Ex-Lax Moment.'" {Better?}

    These things said, I think this has potential. You need to work on punctuation and style -- and don't be afraid to let out your sense of humor. You can take this somewhere. I hope these comments help.



    I've read your excerpts. What kind of opinion do you want? Do you want a critique of your grammar and syntax? Do you want to know my opinion of "Snow?" I really don't understand why you posted this -- can you clarify?

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  • 1 decade ago

    There is so much to say about what you've written I will have to take just one topic. A like story--my neighbors decided to drag me to their church and I thought OK, I'll check it out. Toward the end people were invited to stand up and speak. Several former drug users and abusers stood up to tell how they had reformed. I'll spare you the boring stories. Going to Church and repenting is NOT enough. God may be willing to forgive you but I think he expects you to pay your debt. All those people you have hurt need restitution in many forms. You owe,not just your family, but your neighbors and your community a very big debt. Don't tell me how you have reformed but what you are doing to pay back the debt to society. Sparky is still sucking the stuffing out of society. Mr. Snow is an example of a bureaucracy in full swing. I can't remember which principle it is but Mr. Snow has certainly risen to the height of his incompetency.

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  • 4 years ago

    BQ -hi, i've got had this subject a lot: a beginning financial disaster that would not click. And frequently it somewhat is the 1st few sentences that choose for rearranging. yet while no longer something good includes suggestions, I start up with communicate. however, i think of this piece of yours works nice. stored my interest each of how by way of and left me with many questions while i replaced into completed interpreting it. one ingredient: interior the 1st paragraph you style of say the comparable ingredient two times: "no longer desirous to startle the lady" "the final ingredient he wanted to do replaced into frighten the detrimental youthful woman". i do no longer think of you may comprise the 2nd < quote by using fact it tells the reader, extremely than shows them - and you're making an particularly good factor of exhibiting she's apprehensive and dissatisfied in a protracted time: "did no longer be conscious the now-chilly, lemon honey tea placed on the wood table " (= edit: i think of this paragraph is tremendous: The small place replaced into cramped with unusual assortments of teapots, cups and matching saucers which coated the great room on dark wood, geared up-in cabinets. colourful bags of quite a few flavoured tea have been wedged in between. Sighing, Florence gave the extraordinary cafe one final sweeping look till now stepping out into the vivid, spring sunshine; all of the on an identical time as suffering to hold decrease back her tears. *in basic terms observed a minor blunders: you're saying "vivid spring sunshine" and then in a protracted time you're saying it replaced into "september".

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    All it proves is that there are loony heads of Department - I know it!

    Last year we had this bearded unqualified S. American whose only reason for being in the school is he is a former student and unemployable everywhere else. He wanted us to teach Beowulf to the 9th grades ...

    There are two guys on the staff who I suspect are on abuse lists in their own countries ...

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  • Bart S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Go thru the proper channels if you have a complaint. Don't be surprised when your loyalty is rewarded with a boot out the door.....

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