62 1/2 (sorta)


I cheated my way to page 62. I also sorta cheated my way to page 57. I thought I should come clean, lest you think I’m some Super Power Writer.

About twelve years ago, I wrote a 100-page draft of garbage. It wasn’t finished. It didn’t even have a middle. I’ve kept the very basic plot line and a few of the characters are the same, but otherwise, the 100 pages are virtually useless. But in a few very rare instances, I can lift a few scenes and plunk them down into this draft, where I then rework them. In the 62 pages I have today, maybe 5 pages’  worth has come from the old draft. The rest is completely new.

So that explains how I went from 50 to 62 so quickly, when I otherwise was moving at the pace of a snail.

*  *  *  *  *  *

Last week, a few of my friends were talking about Khan Academy. It’s a website containing thousands of short videos, offered for free, that teach people everything from arithmetic to science to social studies. The videos have been used at a public school system in California, by homeschoolers, and by parents seeking ways to help their kids learn concepts or to get them ahead at school. Bill Gates now supports the non-profit.

I haven’t explored much of the website, but the twenty-minute TED talk (below) is pretty remarkable. Check it out when you can. This may very well be the future of education. I’m only a couple of years away from not understanding my kids’ homework. You better believe I’ll be logging on.

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4 thoughts on “62 1/2 (sorta)

  1. Nah!! You didn’t cheat! Using old drafts isn’t cheating! That’s an intrinsic part of academic writing and if it’s not of fiction & other kinds of creating writing, it should be. At least on my book. 😉 So, yeah, go ahead and celebrate your new pages in a short period of time. It does count! 😉

    As for Khan Academy, very interesting, I’ll have to check it out. Now… what would the difference be between them and YouTube videos since nowadays there are LOTS of legitimate instructional videos there? (I just showed a documentary to my students today about a Portuguese author that was posted as part of a doctoral dissertation defense a few years ago in Brazil). Does Khan Academy have any kind of “peer review” or at least specialist checking the submissions to verify whether they are truly useful or are teaching “correct” stuff? Just wondering… (a bit too much, maybe). I should go read their “abour” or FAQ, right?

  2. So fabulous. And such a great idea. Thanks for finding it and passing along! (And kudos to the genius teachers for going with the “watch this and then we’ll work together” model.Love that.

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