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The Next Generation

The next generation of writers may get published before I do, at least in a vanity press. E is busy selecting the photos for her annual book and providing captions. My sister has written 3 thus far, from age 5 to age 7, all centered on her Nahant trips. While E has always been interested in the photos, this is the first year she has been active in selecting photos and writing text to go with it. To encourage her in this process, I'm abstaining from her normal 'writing' homework where she has to make up a 3-4 sentence story with a beginning, middle and end.

Today my sister sent me a link to some research and books on visual learning. It's pretty clear from reading the descriptions that most of my family are visual as opposed to auditory learners. We do not do things in a linear way, we have organization all over the place in a peculiar system and learn things in jumps. I never could do math in a way that explained my steps. I simply leapt to an answer, right or wrong, but usually right.

So she had this idea of taking E away from the linear writing that the teachers were looking for and doing more visual work with her. Because she says that, for her, translating from the visual to the written word is incredibly hard. She just sees. And she says that E is very sophisticated in what she sees, shows far more interest and attention than someone her age should to some things she has shown her. She said E had chosen a very subtle photograph as her favorite when she was only 4. And that E synthesizes what she sees in photographs and quickly draws conclusions. All this was evident before medication, before E could really organize and express what was going on in her head.

E herself isn't so sure about her artistic skills, though she's enjoying dictating the stories and working with images. I think her hand-eye coordination doesn't satisfy her desire for perfection. And then there's the pressure from peers and some teachers to create representational art. Which she still doesn't do very well. And maybe shouldn't. She's more abstract and color-oriented in her efforts.

Speaking of the visual, the upshot of E's doctor's appt and also some viewing from the house here (miles of ocean with boats) is that E is definitely not seeing as well at distance as my right eye does. And my right eye is worse than 20/40 now. So it's up to me to get an appt. asap.

Meanwhile, go E. Write that book.
Frog Out



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 14th, 2007 04:04 pm (UTC)
This makes me wonder -- How does E do with cartoons?
Aug. 14th, 2007 04:36 pm (UTC)
cartoons in what sense? On tv, they're fine. She doesn't much care for them in the newspaper and in book form it's iffy. Because usually the colors and drawings aren't good enough. There was one book called "phonics comics" on a magic pony story that she read and read and read. But I think she needs to be a little older to read the stuff I see kids reading in the bookstores. Right now she accepts b&w drawings in books that have them embedded with the text at the 2nd grade level. We're following a silly British fairy series called "Rainbow Fairies" which has lots of drawings.

Aug. 14th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, sorry. I guess I meant comics.

There's a terrific graphic novel called Clan Apis. It's written by a bee researcher who happens to be an excellent comic artist. I get the idea that E is interested in the natural world, so maybe she'll like it.

Sep. 6th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
Was an interesting essay on NPR (I forget what program--I think the "apprending nature experiences" one) yesterday from a fellow whose experience of nature was ants in the alley: until he went "home" to Dad's village in Mexico when he was 14, and an uncle noticed he couldn't see. His description of walking out of the optician's office and seeing the parrot-filled jungle hillside for the first time was wonderful.

Also, given the hand-eye coordination, how do you think E would like knitting/crocheting/quilting? Colors and textures ABOUND. And abstract is just fine. The trend lately has been toward "sloppy piecing" and other reactions to the regular geometry of traditional block work, like fringed or "blooming" seams and roccocco beading/embellishments of fiber, texture, found art.
Sep. 6th, 2007 09:40 pm (UTC)
In your ample spare time, you shall have to tutor her in the womanly arts to see if they interest her. I'm not entirely certain her hand/eye is up to it, her fine motor control. But she would certainly love the color aspect of it all.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )