judifilksign: (Default)
[personal profile] judifilksign
Friday, I used Talis Kimberly's song, "Still Catch the Tide" and Emily Holbert-Kellam's song sung by
Heather Dale, "The Maiden and the Selkie" as writing prompts for a few of my classes.

We had already read Jane Yolen's "Greyling," a story about a selkie boy raised by fisherfolk, who went back to sea.  I showed "Still Catch the Tide" as posted on YouTube, with Seanan and vixy singing, with Tony, SooJ, and Betsy playing.  Hard to get better than that.  I also played Heather Dale singing about on the selkies.

The writing prompt:  Write me a story.  No particular length requirement; note that neither song is long.  It DOES need to have a love story.  ONE of the protagonists must be magical in nature, the other, human.  There needs to be a CHOICE as part of the story.

I have siren stories, many vampire stories (unsurprising, given the Twilight series recent movie release), angel stories, werewolf stories, fairies and some of the best writing I've gotten out of my students so far this year.

My favorites include a story one of my boys wrote, in which a boy meets a goth girl, who identifies herself as a vampire.  She says she's hungry, and asks to drink his blood, which the boy allows her to do, thinking she's just kidding.  "I couldn't help but yell as her fangs actually pierced my skin."

Another was a boy being saved by his beautiful guardian angel.  Wanting to see her again, he keeps putting his life at risk to catch glimpses of her.  One stunt actually causes his death, and he awakes in Hell for suicide, separated forever from his angel.  WOW!

One that hit hard was one from an African American girl, whose fairy magically invites a man to change to tiny size to live with her.  After a few weeks of bliss, he asks to be changed back to be with his wife and family, leaving the fairy infuriated at his broken promises.  It ends there, but I am going to encourage her to continue on with the narrative, because it has places to GO!

One boy had a great battle between an emperor, and an evil sorcerer.  I pointed out the love interest and choice need.  With the erasure and replacement of three sentences within the narrative, there was added the sorcerer's daughter, which gave the fight a reason to happen (no magical daughter of HIS would marry a mere mortal, even a ruler) and the choice, as the daughter discerns magically how her father is to be defeated, and gives her lover the clue to defeat him.  Made.  Of.  Win.

Interestingly, I didn't get ANY selkie stories, nor little mermaideque tales, either.

My students kept asking me vixy was me.  (I said thank you each time, but no.)  I did reveal that I knew the performers, and had signed concerts they had performed, and that this was my kind of music.  I got to explain, repeatedly, that Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant was not filthy rich because she wrote.  The youth leaders laughed each class as I had a spiel about the Campbell-Award winning, Hugo-nominated author, and reeled off a list of her books, ending with One Salt Sea, which had mermaids and selkies in it.

One student recognized SooJ as Skinny White Chick.  She was duly impressed when I said I knew SooJ, and SooJ knew me well enough to say "Hi, Judi!  Good to see you again!" without having to be prompted as to who I was.  (And explained the difference between best friends, close friends, circle of friends, and acquaintances.)  

Another boy said, "You wear clothes like that in your real life, not just on stage."  I got to quote Shakespeare back at him, ha ha!

edited to reflect proper authorship of "The Maiden and the Selkie."

Date: 2011-12-03 11:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wyld-dandelyon.livejournal.com
I want a "like" button! Judi for the win!

Date: 2011-12-04 01:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
I've always thought that if you provide good examples, you'll get good results.

Last year, during the Odyssey, I played vixy's "Siren Song," and had students write me ten sentences from the viewpoint of another character from the epic. It went over well, and when we read Yolen's selkie story, I thought of these two songs, and went for a similar theme.

I was accused of making up this assignment because many of the houses had gone to the Twilight movie as rewards this week!

Date: 2011-12-03 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladymondegreen.livejournal.com
That's awesome.

Date: 2011-12-04 01:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
I love it when a plan comes together!

Date: 2011-12-03 11:59 pm (UTC)
ext_12246: (books)
From: [identity profile] thnidu.livejournal.com
I got to quote Shakespeare back at him, ha ha!

And you said ... ???

As You Like It...

Date: 2011-12-04 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players"

Re: As You Like It...

Date: 2011-12-04 01:22 am (UTC)
mneme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mneme
*grin* It seemed like the right response to me! Thank you for the story; this is fantastic!

Date: 2011-12-04 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slweippert.livejournal.com
Love tales about your students. I smile each time. Please keep 'em coming. :)

Date: 2011-12-04 01:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
It is a day like this in teaching that keeps me coming back to the trenches. Not every day is as fun as this one was.

Date: 2011-12-04 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] smoooom.livejournal.com
That is so utterly awesome. Why did I never have English teachers like you when I was in school?

Date: 2011-12-04 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
I was lucky and had several English teachers whose teaching inspired me. My favorite was Dr. Peterson, who dressed up in period costumes to teach the classics. I used to do that sometimes, too, when I weighed less. Now that I'm getting to be a healthier weight, Beowulf might be done in costume again, and Shakespeare, and a few others.

Date: 2011-12-04 07:14 am (UTC)
jenrose: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jenrose
My best friend, an English teacher, has a full Elizabethan getup for teaching Shakespeare.

Date: 2011-12-04 03:17 am (UTC)
danceswithlife: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danceswithlife
Might it be possible to do a collection of these stories as a kudo to the students for their parents, etc? I don't know how this works at your school.

Date: 2011-12-04 04:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
I am hoping to convince some of my students to submit to our school paper.

Date: 2011-12-04 08:23 am (UTC)
callibr8: East Tennessee, circa 2004 (RoadAhead)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
At the community college I've been attending, they put together an annual literary arts magazine called Spindrift. I'm told it has won national awards. Wonder if it would be possible to create that kind of collaboration between comm. coll. students and your kids?

Date: 2011-12-04 08:33 am (UTC)
ext_12246: (Dr.Whomster)
From: [identity profile] thnidu.livejournal.com
(A tall, lean, pedantic chap with unruly light-colored hair, a great many pockets overflowing with markers, pens, and slips of paper, and a striped scarf that brushes the floor at both ends, approaches you to say a quiet word in your ear.)

It's Greek, it's "kudos", it means 'praise', and it's not plural, so the s is not removable and is pronounced with a hiss as in "ethos", not a buzz as in "condos".

(He bows and leaves you a card:)
Dr. Whom: Consulting Linguist,
Grammarian, Ortho√ępist,
and Philological Busybody

Edited Date: 2011-12-04 08:36 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-12-04 08:26 pm (UTC)
danceswithlife: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danceswithlife
I'll take correction from the doctor anytime, and correction on words from almost anyone else anytime as well--thank you!

Do you also stubbornly cling to the fact that there is no such word as "emails" or have you given in to culture :-)?

Re: So you are making them think

Date: 2011-12-04 03:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
And they try so hard NOT to many times, that it is a joy when as a group they DO!

Date: 2011-12-04 07:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pondside.livejournal.com
You are the teacher for a win hon!!!!! wish I'd had teachers as good as you, I'd not have been so bored.

See you soon!!!!

Date: 2011-12-04 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
As an English teacher, I have scope to be entertaining. I pity the Math teacher, who just has to have the kids slog through the hard stuff all of the time.

I forgot to mention that in a couple of the classes where the students wanted to talk over the song, I started signing along, and everyone watched in surprise, hooked in.

I constantly look for things THE BEST teachers do, and attempt to put them into my teaching, too. What I lack in skill, I try to make up with enthusiasm. Sometimes, it's enough.

Date: 2011-12-05 10:20 pm (UTC)
sheistheweather: (Selkie)
From: [personal profile] sheistheweather
At the risk of pedantry: Heather's selkie song is actually by a friend of hers.

I adore that song, as well! I love selkies.

Date: 2011-12-05 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
Thank you for the correction. Entry now edited to show correct authorship, as well as performers.

Date: 2011-12-05 11:33 pm (UTC)
sheistheweather: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sheistheweather
I intended no pedantry, really. I thought you'd like to know, is all... I hope I did not come across poorly.

Date: 2011-12-06 01:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
No offense taken at all, dear! I *do* very much want to know such things so I can make certain the proper credit is given to the appropriate sources.

*Hug* Thanks for keeping me up-to-date!

And the seal peeking through the ice is very cute.

Date: 2011-12-06 03:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peteralway.livejournal.com
Wow--that sounds like a great day!

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