Tuesday, March 28, 2017

William Trevor evening

As part of the College's Arts Week, on Thursday 23rd March we held an event to mark the life and writings of William Trevor, Old Columban.  The guest of honour was the novelist Joseph O'Connor (pictured), who talked about writing in general, and Trevor's writing in particular, after reading beautifully to the audience Trevor's great short story 'Another Christmas'.

This was preceded by a talk by Julian Girdham, Head of the English Department, on Trevor's connections with and writing about the College, which can be read here.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

William Trevor Remembered

Tonight in the Big Schoolroom at 8pm, as part of the College's annual Arts Week, there will be an event to remember the great Old Columban novelist, William Trevor.  The novelist Joseph O'Connor will read one of Trevor's short stories and talk about him, and the Head of the English Department, Julian Girdham, will give an account of Trevor's writings about schools and the College in particular.  The event is open to the public, and there is no charge for entry.

If you haven't been to the College before, here are directions.

Here is Mira Stout's great interview with Trevor in the Paris Review in 1989.

Below, a fascinating interview with William Trevor by Mike Murphy on RTE in 2000.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Reading for Pleasure

Kenny Pieper's Reading for Pleasure in the 'How to Teach' is well-worth reading by all English teachers.  It's a pleasure to read a book so rooted in true commitment. And here is Kenny in an engaging Pivotal Podcast (number 146).

Some jottings:

'I take the act of reading for granted': Kenny's emphasis on those for whom this is not true is just what all (especially experienced?) English teachers need to bear in mind: we have a version of 'the curse of knowledge'.

The notion of what Donalyn Miller calls 'aliteracy', "a generation of kids who can read perfectly well but choose not to" is indeed a real challenge.

Kenny gives 10 minutes at the start of (most of) his classes over to reading. Well worth considering.

Plenty of more good practical ideas: the 'interest inventory', bookmark formats, dialogue journals, book speed-dating and much more, with interesting comments on the balance between e-readers such as the Kindle, and paper books.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

100 Books... from the TES

On World Book Day, here's a list for secondary pupils, courtesy of the TES.