Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 11/4/15
“I am absolutely passionate about teaching literature to my students.”  (Jennifer McQuillan)  A high school English teacher has found a way to get students interested in reading.  Together they’ve created a garden with plants, seeds and clippings brought from places related to authors, such as Dickenson, Stowe, Vonnegut, Emerson, Hawthorne, Poe.  There’s even an empty author chair in the garden.  One student said, “I used to read books; now I want to discuss them.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM BATTMAN:  Nice one Jack.  You know Ilyssa helped build that garden and was interviewed on NPR when they were doing it.  Both my girls love McQuillan.====JACK:  Most of us can look back and remember one teacher who has made a difference in our life...Ilyssa now has one.  Life is in the business of making memories.

FROM KC:  Chris had Jennifer McQuillan, what a life changing teacher!====JACK:  My life-changer (Philosophy) came in college.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I LIKE  this one!!====JACK:  Did you ever have a teacher such as her?====GEORGE:  Mrs. Littig at Coolidge comes to mind - Merchant of Venice, Tale of Two Cities.====JACK:  I remember being introduced to "the Merchant" at John Deere Jr High.

FROM TARMART REV:  . . . one good discipline I've missed out during my lifetime . . . always found shorter informative articles to be my taste . . . watching a movie produced from a book of interest has always been more appealing and appreciated . . . the focused time needed for reading as been my downfall, I'm sure . . . would spend that same amount of time sitting out in public with no problem, but by myself I wouldn't be concentrating as thinking about what I was missing at Walmart or Target. 0;-/====JACK:  Evidently you didn't have a "Jennifer" for a teacher.  I've found that reading the Bible in "everyday language" helps it come alive for me.  The song, "I walk today where Jesus walked,"  describes how Bible stories take on new meaning when a person actually experiences "place, sights, smells and sounds"====REV:  The Word of God would truly be an exception...picked that large book up many years ago as expressed recently in another post and haven't been able to stop reading ever since!!

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Jen is a star. She also does volunteer work.====JACK:  Look at the life of a good teacher in the way you look at an iceberg.  There's more to her/him than what is obvious.====PAUL:  True for everyone!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  this would be one garden that needs more worms....  book worms....====JACK:  That would be a good question to ask JM.  When you planted your garden, did you include some worms?    "Inch worm, inch worm  Measuring the marigolds  You and your   arithmetic  You'll probably go far  Inch worm, inch worm  Measuring the marigolds  Seems to me, you'd stop and see  How beautiful they are."  I liked the book, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" by Deborah Moggach.

FROM RF:  This is so nice to see. Mrs. McQuillan was a favorite teacher of mine in high school, and she and I still keep in touch. She was always looking for ways to engage her students, and motivate us to think outside the box. It's so important to have teachers like that in your life...====JACK:  To be able to think beyond the box is a natural aptitude for some people, but it takes a good teacher to show how that aptitude can be channeled.

FROM MV IN MICHIGAN:  I saw the nice article in the paper about Jennifer Sunday.====JACK:  I especially liked the picture of her dressed as Edgar Allan Poe, complete with the little mustache.

FROM KF:  Mrs. McQ is a wonderful teacher! (My daughter) still keeps in touch with her. We bought her a large raven to enhance her teaching unit on Poe!  What a perfect combination - literature and gardening - my two favorite things (I think next in line are music and UM football). I love the poet's corner at Westminster Abbey. We just bought two new bookcases to continue to support our love of reading. And we are enjoying this gift of 3 beautiful days for gardening - Mark is taking this afternoon off to work with me. Life is good! But I do miss my furry little gardening companion! ====JACK:  I remember a college English Lit prof who opened a class session by asking, "How many of you know the end of this quote..."One man's meat...?"  Only a few hands were raised.  We went on to read and discuss E.B. White's book of that title.  I still have the book...AH, HERE IT IS!...He writes, "I believe television is going to be the test of the modern world, and that in this new opportunity to see beyond the range of our vision we shall discover either a new and unbearable disturbance of the general peace or a saving radiance in the sky.  We shall stand or fall by television--of that I am quite sure."  That was written in 1944."  In today's world we might substitute I-Phone (or some other gadget) for television.

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  What a wonderful article on her in Sunday's Free Press. Her students are so lucky to have her.====JACK:  My mother-in-law was the teacher in a one-room rural Wisconsin school.  The students were fortunate to have her.  Not only did she keep the pot-belly stove going in the winter...and tend to various cuts and bruises, but she also introduced the children to the classics, literature, arts and music, along with the three r's.  Teaching is teaching!  Oh, and BTW, each Friday (good weather and bad) she'd walk 15 miles to her home in the city, only to repeat that walk for classes on Monday.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  A big AMEN to that====JACK:  I guess that it's OK to say, AMEN, when you approve of church or in school.====CL:  I sure hope so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Jennifer would get a kick out of me writing "Life of Pie" yesterday instead of PI! Guess I  must have been hungry ! :-)  She sounds like the ideal dream of a teacher, with the time and effort to be  so creative and effective!  I salute her! Every teacher cherishes the notes and letters received from former students who let them know that they did indeed make a difference in their lives. It is a tremendous blessing! I found great satisfaction in my teaching of music and Literature, but never felt I had enough time, with other added responsibilities like raising 4 children, directing church choirs, and doing  our pastoral work, to really "nail" it like I wanted to.  Jennifer certainly must feel she does justice to her profession and her students!!!====JACK:  A principal and a school district which allow a teacher to teach certainly helps.  Both enthusiastically supported her "lesson plan."

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Students need to learn English. No matter what profession. if they cannot communicate, who will listen?  Al w.  I like  this quote.====JACK:  Trinity Seminary in Ohio now requires students to know Spanish before they graduate.  There's a woman in our congregation who's from Columbia who only speaks Spanish.  Some of us had an 8-week crash course in basic Spanish so that we could at least "pass the peace" in Spanish.

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