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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

To be subtle. To be true. To be original. To be on. • To sing without moving your lips. • To explore the conventions of a thousand genres and befriend a thousand tribes. • To set your love free. • To tweet and be RTed. • To convince someone to give you money. • To get better at doing hard things.

Because everything that matters is written. • It's a Zen act. Use just enough words, but not too many. • Because writing sharpens thinking. • To solve problems. • To eulogize your friend. • To turn bad prose into good. • To conquer fear. • Because writers (Kurt Cobain, Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, Steven Pressfield, Zora Neale Hurston, Sherman Alexie and Tupac Shakur) are cool.

To flirt. • To be understood. • To understand. • To forward social justice, suppress tyranny and save the world. • To critique. • To see faces in shadows. • To make sans serif memes. • To brainstorm dog names: Moby, Jet, Beefheart, Boomer, Thor, Snooker, Google, Moose, Mahalo. • To compose monomyths. • To write entertaining dialogue like, "Coffee is for closers." • Because closers finish what they start.

Because greeting cards with someone else's sentiments are lame. • To marinate your brain in wow. • To create the next Yoda. • Write. Revise. There is no other way. • To commit the armies of your mind to a task before you are ready. • To replace emotional trauma with resolve. • To exercise mirror neurons. • To talk to your high power. • To prioritize. • To forgive like Nelson Mandela. • Because the world needs you to tell us who you are. • To realize there's more in you than you think. • To be human. Join the club.

Because writing is critical to every discipline. • To understand author's craft. • To make "text-to-world" connections. • To use metaphors to understand. • To predict the future, like George Orwell. • To map the psyche, like Freud. • To fill dark skies with cherry blossoms, like Matsuo Basho. • To leave love notes on the fridge. • Because poets scare fascists. • To be immortal.

(And why do you have to write today? Surely you have your reasons . . . )

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Sue Alexander's picture
Sue Alexander
7th and 8th Grade Art teacher from Reeds Spring, Missouri

thank you for writing...to make my day

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