I was fortunate enough this semester to meet Bob Doran, the arts and entertainment editor for Humboldt County's North Coast Journal, and he offered me a chance to write music reviews. Who am I to turn down such an opportunity? The reviews you see linked to the right have all appeared in the North Coast Journal. I have put them online and spruced them up with some extra links I feel readers will enjoy.
In a perfect world I would be able to combine my love for music with the teaching of writing and make my living accordingly. Through the process of creating this reflection site for English 600, I have stumbled upon some new ideas for both myself and my future teaching experience. My inclusion of these reviews as part of my English 600 reflection is to show how my interest in writing goes well beyond the classroom, yet still provides a practical opportunity for classroom application.
I am in the process of planning a unit around music and popular culture that will allow students to compose and organize their own writing and place it online. Students often feel disconnected from the writing process because it is difficult for them to consider the idea of an audience being anyone beyond a teacher or portfolio committee. Organizing this kind of online activity will provide a genuine audience and bring the writing process to a point of publication that will mean something to the students besides a requirement or a grade. I think that publication is the most ignored step of the writing process. I have struggled for years in providing a tangible publishing opportunity for my students. I think I just found one.
A majority of today's young students are "Net Geners" that spend a great deal of their time on computers multitasking the day away. I am not going to pass judgment. I would much rather deal with this reality and plan accordingly. Allowing students to incorporate their technology skills with written language creates a situation that caters to both student and teacher.
It will make writing a more personally rewarding and relevant experience, one that could go a long way in lowering the anxiety many students feel when it comes to composition. Writing these 400-500 word reviews will also prove to be valuable exercises in the development of the student's analytical skills, a major focus of any first-year composition classroom.
More information about my interest in music and it's intersection with my writing can be found at my blog.
Links to Reviews
(click on title, not artist)
Links to Resources
Although Mike Mannix can be contacted at email@example.com, he in no way guarantees a response.