October 2005 Archives

“I thought I had walked into Students at the Center (SAC) backwards, with a blindfold over my eyes and a false statement of what SAC really was. But then I turned around and slowly realized this is why I was meant to be here. “The teachers were different: It wasn’t always their input but ours as well. It was their techniques that raised my hands to remove the blindfolds. We sat in a circle. We told stories and discussed real issues that many teachers don’t care about. “They turned some of my inventions into creations. I love being ...

Fourteen students, graduates, teachers, and community partners traveled to Clemson University from seven states for a working retreat for the Students at the Center (SAC) program last weekend. You can probably guess at the familiar reunion details: hugs, jokes, inquiries about classmates and family members, discussions of future plans, and lots of writing. As always, the students had plenty to teach the adults in attendance. Damien, sporting the dress shirt and tie required for his new job and asking us to call him Mr. Theodore now, helped us see how to temper anger with humor in his memo to public ...

“Start with what you know to learn what you don’t know. Start with where you’re at to get to where you want to go.” That’s the motto we work by in Students at the Center (SAC), the school/community-based writing program a few students and I started in the late 1990’s. I must confess, however, that I often drop the motto’s second line. Maybe my 20 years as a classroom teacher has numbed me to the idea of going anywhere. Certainly the way New Orleans figures so prominently in SAC writing for community projects has ...


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