Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolutions and All That

Is it possible? I mean, really possible, to devise resolutions at the beginning of a calendar year and somehow stick to them?

I once interviewed residents of the Alle-Kiski Valley, a suburban area of Pittsburgh, for a newspaper article on New Year's resolutions. One woman made a very interesting comment. She said she didn't believe in these kinds of resolutions. Rather, she believed that a person should always evaluate his place, his success, his expectations and resolve to change when change is needed - not just on January 1.

I couldn't agree more, but here we are. It's January 1, 2011, and I'm talking resolutions. There's something about the calendar that just lights a fire under...well, you know the saying. But also, I'm planning to connect my blog to the classes I'm teaching this spring, so now is a great time to plan for 2011 changes.

My students at Westmoreland County Community College will be creating blog teams. Together, the teammates will create blogs, choose themes and topics, schedule posts, and write the blogs. The writing they do in these public forums they create will be graded for the course.

Privately, the students will reflect on their experiences and the improvements they see in their writing.

Since I'm asking them to write more often in a public forum, I will do the same. My blog, although it will remain The Girardi Diner, will take on a theme "Writer 360" for the next few months. In my posts, I will be talking about writing from three different perspectives - a writing teacher, a composition PhD student, and a writer.

More ahead...