Have you ever heard the expression that there are three sides to every story - yours, mine, and the truth? Well, I am goimg to propose that there is some truth to this saying because it is only when we look at two sides and see how those sides are the same and where they differ that we can begin to establish some grounds for understanding and truth. This is the beauty of writing that compares and contrasts. There's a trick to how this is accomplished, however, else great confusion ensues.
One way is to first compare apples to apples, and then contrast them - point by point. For instance, if we were to talk about twins, we might discuss how they are the same height and weight and have the same hair color and complexion. Next we might focus on differences - styles of music and genre of books or intended college majors and political views. The other way is to discuss one item completely, and then to discuss the other completely, also making sure the order of the points made remain the same in both discussions. That could translate into a discussion of Jake (height, weight, hair color, complexion, music and book preferences, college major and political views). Then we would discuss his twin Drake (all items in exactly the same order). Frankly, whichever technique you use is totally arbitraty. Let your preference - or the topic - dictate the format.
Blog Assignment: This week you will write a paragraph that allows you to compare and contrast two things. You will respond to either topic #1 or #8 on page 242 of the textbook.
My Response: Technology is a beautiful thing. In fact, I remember one summer a few years ago when the pastor of the church I was attending put out a challenge to refrain from prticipating in any form of technology for one week. I haughtily thought to myself, "I can do this" and raised my hand to be among the elite to participate in the experiment. I have to tell you it was one of the hardest sacrifices in which I have ever engaged. Now that I think of it, my experience must have been similar to that of students today who are told they cannot use their technology in the classroom. Ouch! As a teacher, I know the value of a learning environment free and clear of distraction. Which teacher can compete with the student who sends 84 texts (no, this is not a typo) to a single student in a 2 hour block of time? I have to say that I am proud of my student who refused to break the classroom rule and text back, though I am a bit perturbed by the fact that she knew how many texts had been sent during class. Certainly, I know that what I am teaching is less interesting than who is dating whom, the latest fight, or the cute new student; however, that information won't ensure you a job unless you want to be a talk show host. What I am teaching, on the other hand, is so important that it will assist you in developing the skills that will make your high school and college careers easy street. So, if I have to compete with the minute-by-minute parade of gossip, I will lose hands down. But technology does have a place in the classroom. And because of that, I teach my students to use the calendar and clock functions to schedule important assignments or testing locations. In addition, many of my students have their electronic novels on their smart phones. And what about that research I sometimes ask them to conduct? I only have four operable computers in a classroom that regularly seats 25 students. Doing research from the school computers will take all year at that rate! In my opinion, it is the role of the savvy teacher to instruct students on the boundaries that must come with the use of personal technology in the classroom. I don't want to catch you texting or posting on FaceBook. Nor do I want you to record my response to your inappropriate question so you can post it on YouTube. I do, however, want you to learn to use the functions that will help you become a fully functional member of a society whose residents must use technology to participate in work and school sanctioned activities.
Your Turn: Sign in and post your assignment in the Comment box. Preview your response so you can see what you need to correct. Make your corrections and click the Post Comment button. Please be sure to post your response no later than midnight of September 22.