Mr Kinnick’s Komments

January, 2018

Our school wishes everyone all the best for a healthy, productive, successful New Year.

The Students’ Corner
With the new year we would like to officially introduce a new page on our website. Entitled “The Students’ Corner”, it will feature pieces of original writing by students from all levels at our school. These will include compositions, projects, materials produced in school clubs, and at the “Advanced” and “Proficiency” levels journal entries. In their journals, students may express themselves freely on any topic of their choice, whether it be based on a subject that has come up in class, a personal interest or experience, or a matter that attracted their attention in the media. We have recently uploaded several items produced by individuals in our C1 and C2 classes. More will follow over time. We congratulate all those ambitious students who have participated in this new endeavor.
As the purpose of this page is to give our students the opportunity to articulate their thoughts, I would like to preface it with a short poem written by my grandfather, John B. Kinnick, who as a poet and storyteller was a man of words. I especially appreciate this particular work since it offers all of us a very positive outlook on life.

Oh! Would you only wear a smile
And do not frown, no never!
For frowns will only fade and die
But smiles will live forever.

In this spirit, the intensive class that sat for C2-level exams in December, 2017 was asked to contribute inspirational quotations from famous, obscure, or anonymous people to a school “Quote Board”. I launched the board with two bits of wisdom I was given as a child. My grandmother advised, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” and my father counseled that, “Time and the tides wait for no man.” The students’ response was enthusiastic. A sampling of their contributions can be found in “The Students’ Corner” under “Quote Board”.

I Love
We are always considering ways to stimulate our students to write. Some people have trouble finding topics but most people can disclose something about themselves. Songs can be an interesting change of pace when used in class from time to time. Just before Christmas I used a country song by Tom T. Hall called “I Love”, in which the songwriter lists (with rhyme and rhythm) various items that he enjoys. After exploiting the song in class, I asked the students in the “Advanced” classes to write a journal entry by the same title. They were given two options – to attempt a poem in the style of the song or to produce an essay. Because students must be given appropriate examples when assigned a task and as I don’t like to ask them to do something that I haven’t done or attempted myself, I wrote a poem of my own. (I too was inspired by the song.) I was surprised and extremely pleased when nearly all of the students composed poems. My sample and a number of student creations appear in “The Students’ Corner” under the heading “I Love”.

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