Still Standing…

Posted on October 10, 2011Filed Under The Outsiders, Video | 6 Comments

Been a while, I know… So I’m going all dot dot dot on you.

It’s been almost a month–since September 14 to be exact–that the Standing Girl first decided to stand for the whole period. Not all periods. Just mine. And she’s still standing. Just for me. She still won’t say why…

She does sit for tests…

Finally getting into chapter 7. Chapter 6 was fun as always. I think it’s my fave. It has a lot of humor, probably more than anywhere in the book–Dally’s line, “Forget those blasted kids!” never fails to get a laugh.

This year though there was a new comment.

“And all the kids’ parents are right there and heard that!”

I never really thought of that.

And Dally cussing out Pony at the hospital is another surefire laugh-getter. I love rolling around slouched in my rolly chair waving my fist like Dally… In fact this is the chapter where we really start to like Dally. First, he’s funny. (I think he might have more funny lines than the supposed clown Two-Bit.) Second, we see that he cares about Johnny. Miss Susan Eloise is setting us up nicely for chapter nine.

I read somewhere that the plot decision to burn down the church came from her high school friends when she asked them to help relieve her writer’s block. Maybe I should write a letter asking her to confirm or deny.

Chapter 6 also elicits (vocab word last week) both kinds of tears. The sad kind about Johnny, and the good kind about Darry. Lots of sniffles this time of year…

And they all die at Pony smoking at the hospital.

The video class is still (barely) controlled chaos. We have finished a few more school rule PSA videos, and many of the kids are now working on their next project. They have their choice of two projects. One is a 90 second profile of someone who makes a difference at our school. Sort of cheesy, I know, but I figure they need a bit of interviewing experience. Plus I have all these boom mics and wireless mics and such… So they’re supposed to ask five questions, edit it down and create mini profile. The problem with this one has been getting people to say yes… So far only two have been brave enough to say yes, and only one of those actually underwent the ordeal. (It’s in the editing phase right now.)  So there’s been a lot of…

“I’m waiting to hear back from my person.”

There is also a scheduling issue, since I only have one period of this class… I might have to rethink this one, or think of some short short projects they can work on while they’re waiting for their person. (Cue Lou Reed.)

Wait I just thought of one… “Man on the Street” interviews. You ask one question of six people or something like that. Our eighth graders are at lunch during that period, making for a great pool to draw from. And you could include their keepers doing yard duty…hmmmm…

OK. Better.

The other option is to create a 60 second commercial for our school. I told them that the first step was to create a slogan, and that would be the “concept” for the video. I asked them to brainstorm at least ten slogans each, and then we would pick the best to start “visualizing.”

OMG. Nothing but nothing.



One pair did get some good ones, and started working on their school promo, but the rest I sent back to the drawing board.

“What do you want for free?”


So if you all have any ideas beyond news story sort of things, I’d sure love to hear ’em…

Mr. M? As they say in Hawaii, Howzit?


6 Responses to “Still Standing…”

  1. Mrs. M~ on October 11th, 2011 8:38 am

    Yes, not-husband Mr. M . . . update us, please! This is better than reality TV. 🙂

  2. Meg on October 11th, 2011 4:57 pm

    I’ve done a few video projects that were fun.

    One is an interview biography. They find out some stuff about a person (fictional or non) and then video themselves as the interviewer asking the questions, AND the person answering them. They then splice together the video so it goes back and forth. Makes for some fun moments.

    The other one is teaching them about some false arguments (ie bandwagon, begging the question, personal attack, etc) and then making commercials that are examples of those. Last year the final result was pretty awesome.

  3. Mr. M on October 12th, 2011 10:50 am

    I am happy to inform that there has been some progress made. The other teacher no longer is assigning 140 pages a week. After talking to her and giving her my side of the issue, she reluctantly decided that she needed to change her expectations. She is now meeting with her students and coming up with weekly goals of pages. We will see how that goes.

    I just finished “Readicide” and loved it. I am passing my dogeared copy to the other teacher so we can collaborate on some thinking. I liked Gallagher’s idea of expecting students to read at least one book a month. There are no guidelines on how long the book is or anything like that. Then they have a short little reflection on that book to keep the students accountable. If you have not read the book yet, I highly reccomend it and look forward to hearing your take.

    Also, I am about halfway through “Nurture Shock” and can’t wait to read what you thought about that book. Having twin one year old girls of my own and 100 8th graders here at school, it definitely opened my eyes on several fronts.

  4. Mrs. M~ on October 13th, 2011 8:01 am

    Way to go, Mr. M! You did a great service to the students in your school–and the other teacher too. I know how hard it is to approach other teachers about what they are doing in class. We are quite a defensive bunch! Well done, sir. 🙂

  5. Mrs. C (not Mr. C's wife) on November 3rd, 2011 1:00 pm

    It’s been awhile since I’ve stopped in, but what a great read it’s been! I’ve enjoyed the comment section just as much as your fabulous posts Mr. C. I love how Mr. M approached the problem and now has some real collaboration going (or at least an attempt) with his colleague. Thank you for the “Readacide” book recommendation; I believe that came from Mrs. M. I’m headed to Amazon after leaving this comment.

    I love the internet.

  6. mrC on November 3rd, 2011 9:01 pm

    Thanks for the kind words. Glad to have you back…though I’ve been lagging lately. Tomorrow I’ll be telling ADD stories. Yes, the comments section has been great fun of late. Even when I lag on posting, I’m always checking in to see what might be going on. Quite a lively crew. And they saved a whole generation of kids!

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