23 March 2012

what the critics are saying

The 11 year old was given a simple task. Read a story and write a critique. Here is the what he wrote:

A Critique
Charlie Utley

In 2001, Lori Vertegen illustrates a historical fiction account of the journey of Lewis and Clark in her story A Successful Expedition published by American Publishers in New York.  Audaciously, the setting of this story takes place in the Rocky Mountains of the west where the explorers find themselves after 2000 miles of travel. The transfixed travelers are weary and fearful as they cross the Louisiana Territory. They endeavor.

Merriwether Lewis and William Clark, two zealous fellows, these heroes of the west, venture with the help of the cunning Shoshone Indian interpreter, Sacajawea. Warily and westward they sojourn to uncharted territory. They are in pursuit of horses which will carry their burdens.  The search results in a providential meeting with two Shoshone Indians, the exact tribe from which Sacagawea belongs. The Chief of the Shoshones, who is her own brother, gives the incessant explorers the livestock they require. Despite the perilous trek, with the help of the horses, Lewis and Clark successfully land on the Pacific Coast. Their diligence is rewarded. 

This paper is long and tedious written with unnecessary information and not enough essential facts. If the reader had not known about Lewis and Clark's famous expedition, it is confusing. In this story Lewis and Clark cross the mountains and arrive at the Pacific Coast. The climax comes when Lewis  stumbles across two Shoshone Indians and gives gifts. The warriors  come with the chief who happens to be Sacajawea's brother. The resolution of the story occurs when the two adventurers along with their entourage arrive at the Pacific Coast. The writer fails to inform the reader about their journey back. For this reason, the story is a fail.

The boy doesn't mince words. Thankful I didn't ask him to critique my ability to teach. Methinks, it would not go well. But then...

Later I asked the 8 year old to write a thank you note to his Classical Conversations tutor. Here is what he wrote: 

I made the mistake of asking him if he would write such a glowing note to me for my abilities. He gave me a once over and bluntly replied, "No.I think next year I want to go to public school." And, that my friends, is why I do what I do. To make critical, honest and (sometimes)complimentary writers-even when the compliments do not come my way. Now excuse me while I call Frederick County PS, but first I am going to lick my wounds with the help of a lemonade tequila. Happy weekending.xo

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