For the next five songs in my portfolio, I moved away from songs in the vein of American Standards and instead focused on works that are more contemporary in sound and lyrics. The five original songs I notated this week are Teardrop, Change My Mind, I Already Know, Diesel, and Teenage Soul. While these songs are easier to play and notate harmonically, the new challenge of translating parts I play on the guitar and bass guitar arose. Rearranging was not without its benefits; transcribing songs in different instruments than they were originally written allowed me to take an important critical look at the first round of writing I had done in the past. With this extra step of translation, I was able to revise chord progressions and even lyrics to create ultimately a stronger song.
I am currently in the middle of writing a reflection paper, drawing from my own writing experience, the interviews, and the outside sources on the teaching of writing. I’m realizing that this topic, the teaching of writing, is such a huge topic. There is no definite formula to teach writing—only some rough guidelines, hewed from years of experience. Good writers don’t always make good teachers, for often good writers have never actually learned to write—writing came natural from a past of reading. The teachers of writing I have spoken to were often natural writers: they had to relearn how to write in order to teach others how to write. Half of teaching somebody to write isn’t even about putting words on the page—it is instilling in someone confidence and showing someone that she has a voice that is unique among the multitudes. A big part of writing is reading. Another large part is the desire to write—is somebody’s only goal is to get the grade, true writing development often doesn’t happen.
I started my research (finally) this week. I got off to slow start, but things are beginning to pick up. After some contemplation and discussion, I decided to take my research in the direction of compiling a database for transgender high school students to assist in their college searches. With this in mind, I have also collected some basic data such as school size, location, setting, and status (private vs. public). I also think this will help me distinguish differences in who’s doing the most to be accommodating to trans and gender-nonconforming students, in terms of northern schools or private schools, etc.