DIXIE DELIRIUM: Ramblings On The Fine Art And Act Of Teaching
Extra Credit Reading: I Was A Wide-Eyed Substitute Teacher, Too, Before All This Got Started
A DIXIE DIARY: The Spring Semester Of My Rookie Year
Is Teaching Fun?
Old Burrell Almost Killed Me In High School Lit Class. Now I'm What You Call His Colleague
Classroom Confidential: Bodily Funktions
Teachers Have To Write Essays, Too. Here's 932 Southern-Fried & True Words Of My Own
Essay A Go-Go: What's Up With Them Adults?
Rebel Yell: Give Todd A Holler

February 8

The proclaimed youngest regular Confederate, Davis Bailey Freeman was born on May 1, 1851, in Ellijay, Gilmer County, Georgia.  “I went in at ten, entering April, 1862, as a marker for the 6th Georgia Cavalry; but as there was practically no drilling to do, in a month or two I was in the regular ranks, and did all the duties of a soldier … unless legitimately on some detachment … which was nearly three years … I was armed with a short saber and two saddle pistols.”

—Remembering Georgia’s Confederates, by Dr. David N. Wiggins


Dear Dixie,

Here’s a thought.  When you want to know what event or person or thing in history an eighth grader is interested in, ask them to write an essay about it. 

You can ask them all day what they’re interested in but until they have a due date and a word count and you chasing after them to turn it in as many times as they want before the due date so you can edit the thing a few times so they’re ensured of making a good grade on it … then that’s how you’ll know.  As of today, the due date is three school weeks away and a few essays are being handed over for a first draft look-see. 


For example, Tempest says she’s been interested in Anne Frank her whole life.  Tempest didn’t mention why, which is something I asked them to do in the essay.  Albert has always been interested in Dwight Eisenhower, but he says he’s not sure why.  Levon is fascinated with nuclear weapons.  Homer has always been interested in the spear and the Spencer repeating rifle.  He’s titled his essay, Great Glory Weapons.

The title for Hoover’s essay is America at War.  I’m afraid there’s nothing in the first draft of the essay about America at war, but I told Hoover today that I’m pleased he was the first student to turn in a first draft and might he consider working on his essay to the point where it made some sense. 

He said he most certainly would.

He’s one of the most agreeable eighth graders I’ve got.  He doesn’t follow written instructions real well … or at all … but he’s an agreeable kid.  He’s also real excited about signing up for the school’s baseball team.  The reason I know he’s excited is because the whole time I was going over with him the thousands of edits covering his first draft of America at War he kept pitching a baseball up in the air.

Jasper thinks the history of Gatling guns is awesome.


Next Entry ... February 14: Rest Assured