Saturday, April 14, 2012

From MUSE: Marginalia

We want our students to annotate.  We give them lists of possible things to write--types of questions to ask, ways to summarize.  We require a certain number of annotations per page on the texts we assign.  And these things ensure that they are making marks on pages, sure.  

How do we move them away from this antiseptic and rote annotation, though, and into a living, emotional dialogue with text?  It strikes me that it's like trying to teach someone to be a good conversationalist.  You can give pointers, but the best conversations happens when one connects with the one's conversational partner.  And as for being able to talk to anyone, well, that requires that you go to a lot of parties and practice.

I'm sticking with this party metaphor.  I like the idea of sidling up to a book at a cocktail party, dallying in the margins while I nibble canapes.

This post was also published on MUSE '13

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