Autobiographies of 18-year Olds

The first assignment was a success! The class came in looking tired this morning, but once it was time to read their autobiography book jackets out loud, they perked up (in fear, mostly, it seemed—but still). It took some prodding to get the first few volunteers, but once they got rolling, the pieces were fantastic! They seemed to have put a lot of effort into the assignment, and really taken into consideration the idea of audience we’d discussed in class (who do you want to convince to buy this book?) as well as using some marketing-type language to really try to sell the idea that their life was interesting. And they were, for the most part. I think giving them the chance to portray themselves the way they wanted to be seen really worked. The titles were good for the most part, and the details they chose really worked. One gave a teaser to one anecdote “in her book” about moving here from Korea as a kid. Another mentioned that he had “flown a plane before getting his driver’s license.” Having them write in the third person also seems to have helped—it being easier to say good things about “she” or “he” than “I.” They seem like a really bright group, and it gives me hope that the rest of their longer, more involved essays will be really interesting for me to read.

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