Montville / Boonton Edition PREMIER ISSUE
JOURNEY JANUARY 2013
Accentuate The Positive in 2013 Page 3 13 Ways to Engage Reluctant Writers Page 7
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See Our Spotlight On Local Talent In Morris County Featuring Page 5
Page 7 STURLA
11 Tips To Keep Your Car Running Smooth Page 4 Discover The Secrets To Long Term Love Page 6
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ISSUE I13 - Montville / Boonton
FROM THE EDITOR Congratulations!!! And a Happy New Year! Why am I congratulating you? Because your town just got bigger and you’ve just become a part of a great thing! “What’s that”, you say...? Your very own Community Paper of course! This Community Paper, called the Community Journey, is your connection to what’s local to you. Created by the #1 local insider’s guide, Your Community Insider, with the purpose of keeping you in the loop of what’s going on around you.
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Sponsoring local community events - Most recently sponsored event was First Night® Morris where we were also the Premier Sponsor of local restaurants in Morristown through the First Dine program. Spreading awareness throughout the community through our social connections on Facebook, Twitter, and our weekly newsletter (Connect @ YourCommunityInsider.com). Making sure you’re never bored any day of the week by letting you know what’s going on around you through our community calendar on YourCommunityInsider.com. Helping the local economy by boosting local businesses through promoted deals, special offers, and extravaganza’s. We get the word out to the Morris County Community.
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Helpful and enlightening articles written by the best writers and carefully handpicked to be the most beneficial to you. A community calendar put together by local community members that want their event publicized and have submitted their event to Your Community Insider. Community shout outs by parents, teachers, friends, coaches, and community members that wanted to send congratulations and/or praise to someone special in their lives. Artists in all fields that show exceptional skill and have submitted their work for review. Special occasions that make living in Morris County an amazing experience which have been submitted by their coordinators in order to reach the widest audience in Morris County. Positive news that we personally celebrate or celebrated by one of our dear community member. Local deals from neighboring businesses that want to get their message out and reach the vastest audience in their local community. Local sports that have been submitted by either proud parents, coaches, or staff members of the teams that represent Morris County. Contests and giveaways created by us, like the 1000 Fans Giveaway which will give one lucky fan that’s connected to us through facebook and also signed up to our weekly newsletter a $300 Visa Gift Card when our Facebook fan page reaches 1000 fans. We gave away a Brand New Kindle Fire during our previous sweepstakes and we’re sure to give away more fun prizes in the future to the community members connected to us. And the very best of Morris County!
The edition you’re holding in your hand right now is the Boonton - Montville Edition and is yours to enjoy and participate in.
Local Events If you would like to have your community event published in an upcoming issue of Community Journey, please visit the EVENTS section on our website and complete the Event Submission form. We welcome all submissions for FREE or nonprofit events in the Morris County NJ area only. If you have a paid, non-fundraising event which you would like to have appear in this paper, please contact our Advertising Department for low cost advertising options. Contributions If you would like to submit an article for inclusion in an upcoming issue, please contact us directly by phone at 800-773-4566. Advertising For Advertising opportunities in upcoming issues, contact our Advertising Specilists. email@example.com 800-773-4566 Disclaimer The views expressed in the articles presented in this paper are those of the Authors. They are not the views of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for the opinions, statements or remarks made by the Authors. Please forward all comment to:
Yes, I said participate in! We’d love to hear from you! You may be able to become a part of our volunteer community writing staff, write for the Community Journey, share the pictures you take, be featured in our artist spotlight, have you or a family member’s birthday or anniversary given a shout out in the paper, have a story about a local community hero spotlighted, and more. All you have to do is send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-773-4566 and let us know what you’re interest in. You could also promote your business within this paper, give yourself a community business boost, and have the eyes of your community focused on your services or special promotion. We allocate space for businesses that want to reach the community around them through special advertising. Whether you have a business or not, you could also get a classified ad put into the Community Journey. Connect with your community by liking us on Facebook (facebook.com/YourCommunityInsider), signing up to the Your Community Insider’s weekly newsletter (YourCommunityInsider.com), or by following us on Twitter (twitter.com/yc_insider)
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ISSUE I13 - Montville / Boonton
Marrying Art and Science in the Public Square Written by John M Eger Janet Echelman’s TEDTalk, “Taking Imagination Seriously,” piques your interest as she describes her experiences as a non-artist — now a public artist — a sculptress really, but like no one you have ever seen before.
they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.”
You feel her passion, sense her determination, and see some of her truly mesmerizing works of beauty — abstract pieces that use materials not usually found in public art structures, pieces that marry art and science, works that seem to defy human imagination — available for everyone who lives or visits that city. One of Janet’s dreams is to build such works of art around the world. Every community should be so fortunate. As we rush headlong into an age of creativity and innovation, cities should think about how they can use art, to marry art and science, and to reinvent their community for this new age — and if Janet Echelman can’t be commissioned — find someone or a group of artists like Atlanta recently did to help beatify the city. In Atlanta, according to The New York Times, a group called “Living Walls” was invited by the city to literally paint the “sides of buildings, foreclosed houses and subway underpasses.” Living Walls “goal is to showcase the creations, in aerosol and latex paint, of women from around the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Italy and Spain. The project, which includes lectures and parties celebrating street art, is also meant as an alternative to larger conferences, like Art Basel Miami or the Congress for the New Urbanism.” Such public art is vitally important to communities in the new-creative and innovativeeconomy. First, at the heart of this effort to spur creativity is recognition of the vital role that art and culture play in enhancing economic development, and ultimately, exploiting the vital links between art and science, culture and commerce. Cities, regions, indeed whole nations, must consciously invest in human and financial resources necessary to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving knowledge economy and society.
We are all a little bit crazy. Whether art was our major field of study, we are all artists too, and as Sir Ken Robinson pointed out in his TEDTalk — featured 12/7/12 in TED Weekends on The Huffington Post, “We are all born creative.” Maybe we won’t be another Einstein, or Steve Jobs or Janet Echelman, but we can all learn to be creative and to trust our imagination.
Equally important, for young people in particular, is the need for a community that nurtures people’s creative instincts; people need to live and work and play in a community that itself is creative, that nurtures creativity, and gets us to think differently.
Unfortunately, we live in a left brained world and most people have forgotten how to exercise all the talent they were born with, or how to get the right hemisphere of our brain to help us think differently. It takes time and effort to relearn, to let go, be imaginative, be creative. Making mistakes, taking risks, experimenting is all part of the formula but there is no limit to our imagination.
Years ago, Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and himself an artist like Janet Echelman, launched an advertising campaign called “Think Different.” The ads featured Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Edison, and Pablo Picasso among others, and said simply:
As Janet Echelman and so many others are showing, we all have the capacity to be imaginative, creative, innovative.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And
See the TEDTalk which inspired this article: http://www.ted.com/talks/janet_echelman.html
Accentuate the positive Written By Lambert Positive experiences happen to us everyday yet we don’t always take full advantage of them. Have you ever noticed that it could be a great day (you had 8 hours of sleep, it’s the weekend, had a great conversation with a friend etc…) but that it takes just one harsh word from someone or one piece of bad news to ruin the day. Research by Shelley Gable and Jonathan Haidt suggests that we actually have three times more positive experiences than negative. What keeps us from fully capitalizing on all the good in our lives, making us a slave to the bad? Researchers have identified two main tendencies that keep us from experiencing, extending, and expanding our joy: the negativity bias and habituation. The negativity bias refers to our mind’s innate tendency to give more weight to the negative; Roy Baumeister has shown that we tend to remember and focus more on negative experiences. Habituation, discussed in research on the hedonic treadmill, refers to the fact that while we receive boosts of happiness from new positive experiences, over time, we get used to these experiences and they no longer have the same effect.
A number of studies have shown that making daily lists of the things you feel grateful for – which helps draw our attention to the positive experiences in our lives – improves our psychological and physical health and well-being. For example, gratitude improves our ability to connect with others, boosts our altruistic tendencies, make us optimistic and happier, decreases envy and materialism and even improves health for people with physical ailments (neuromuscular disorder, in one study). Lambert’s new study, however, extends research on gratitude to show that verbally expressing the gratitude we feel to people close to us helps increase and sustain our well-being above and beyond simply feeling or writing down gratitude. Great literary figures have long known that happiness grows in sharing. In one of her letters, Charlotte Brontë observes “Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.” In The Common Reader, Virginia Woolf writes “Pleasure has no relish unless we share it.” Lambert’s research provides empirical validation of their wisdom.
”Happiness grows in sharing.”
How can we counter this tendency to assign greater weight to the negative experiences in our life? A recent study by Nathaniel Lambert and colleagues at Brigham Young University gives us a clue. Their research shows that discussing positive experiences leads to heightened well-being, increased overall life satisfaction and even more energy. ....
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“Happiness grows in sharing.” I like that, and of course our political economy totally reinforces it! Oh, wait... NOTE Nevertheless, I do like the idea, not in a “happy talk” or “grin and bear it” sense, but pragmatically. Perhaps I’ll practice creating lists.
ISSUE I13 - Montville / Boonton
11 Tips to Keep Your Car Running Smooth By Caleb Anderson Auto care is vital for a vehicle to operate smoothly and always remain in good condition. Automobile owners need to pay attention to the maintenance of their vehicles. Lack of attention on their part hampers the performance and quality of the engine, causing grave maintenance problems. Non-availability of spare parts further adds to these problems. Recent studies note, five percent of fatalities related to motor vehicles are due to negligence of automobile maintenance. Auto care extends the life of an automobile, ensures safer movement and contributes to a healthy environment. Auto care means keeping the engine in tune so the owner saves on money as well as time. Tuning up the engine at fixed intervals helps to keeping it run smoothly, addresses other electrical and mechanical problems in the engine and is economical. If an engine is encountering problems, it is advisable that owners take it to a techni¬cian, who will locate the exact cause and suggest an appropriate solution. Skip the idea of having it checked by a service provider just for the tune up.
2. Checking the tire inflation is a part of auto care. Under inflated tires result in loss of fuel efficiency. This is one cheap form of safety and preventive main¬tenance. Check the tires every month. 3. Check all the fluids that include power steering, brake, antifreeze and windshield washer solvent, and transaxle/transmission, since these fluids ensure safety and good performance of a vehicle and are an important measure of auto care. 4. Since a restricted fuel injector/polluted spark plug could reduce the efficiency of fuel by 30%, an automobile owner has to be cautious while tuning up their engine. 5. Clean the battery posts and cables when needed and check the same for corro¬sion. Besides, check battery fluids and fill them if low, except for batteries that are maintenance-free. 6. For auto care, always inspect engine belts since worn belts are likely to affect per¬formance of the engine. See if these belts have developed any cracks and try fixing the problem.
Auto Care Tips: 7. Lubricate the chassis often, since it extends life of engine components. Automobile owners need to care for their vehicle right from the day of its purchase and have a little bit of knowledge about its engine. Often, service providers take vehicle owners for a ride, cheating them, and making the owners shell out huge amounts of money on fixing a minor engine problem. Tuning up the engine, as part of auto care, includes replacing the ignition wires, spark plugs, PCV (positive crankcase ventilation valve), air filters and fuel. In ad¬dition, auto care calls for testing the ignition system, servicing injectors and fuel system, and resetting engine timing. Consider the following tips so the engine stays tuned up and the vehicle performs well:
8. Check the lighting system including turn signals, taillights, brake and headlights. 9. Automobile owners need to check windshield washer blades for tears and cracks and replace them once every year. 10. As a step towards auto care, always check the air filtration system in the engine. Owners need to do this at every oil change to confirm there is no damage or clogging. It ensures better functioning of the vehicle. 11. Always keep the user manual handy. No matter whether the issue is minor or major, the moment any problem arises, owners may refer to the manual to fix tem¬porary problems before taking the vehicle to a qualified technician.
1. For auto care by self, it is ideal for automobile owners to refer to the user manual for fixing certain minor problems within the engine. As a rule of thumb, change the oil filter on a regular basis, each 3,000-4,000 miles.
Have Something To Say To Someone Special In Your Life? There's someone special out there and you can make their eyes widen and light up with happiness and joy. Let's deliver them a message they can save for many years to come. Send a birthday wish, an anniversary congratulation, or thoughtful words you'd like someone important to you to see. Write what you'd like to tell them and send it to us at email@example.com. We'll try our very best to include it in our next issue of the Community Journey.
AROUND OUR TOWN Recent weather gave the region a beautiful, new white blanket of wintery snow for all to admire.
Attention All Photographers Or Anyone Who Loves To Use A Camera Morris County is a beautiful place any time of the year. It’s about time we celebrate that beauty, so show us Morris County through your eyes! Simply send your local Morris County photo’s to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we end up featuring your fine photo, we’ll include an attribution so everyone knows you’re king of the moment.
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ISSUE I13 - Montville / Boonton
BOOK REVIEW: Generation On A Tightrope By John Moravec - Education Futures If, as the saying goes, our understanding of the past is 20/20, capturing the zeitgeist of the present — and, in particular, of a group outside of your own — can be tricky. Arthur Levine and Diane Dean took on the challenge, and produced a vivid portrait in Generation on a tightrope: A portrait of today’s college student. From the introduction:
“Today’s undergraduates and students who attended college before them were optimistic about their personal futures, pessimistic about that nation’s future, committed to the American Dream, little involved in campus life, disenchanted with politics and government, more issue oriented than ideological, engaged in community service, utilitarian in their goals for college, weak in academic skills, beneficiaries of inflated grades, heavy users of psychological counseling services, consumer-oriented regarding higher education, and partial to sex and alcohol, among other things.” Levine and Dean engage in a discussion of findings gathered from a number of studies, including Dean’s ongoing Portrait of today’s college student study, and the book is intended to complement Levin’s studies on previous generations: “When Hope and Fear Collide” (1998), and “When Dreams and Heroes Died” (1980). Generation on a tightrope is based on new research of 5,000 college students and student affairs practitioners from 270 college campuses.
World’s Moistest Banana Bread A yummy, moist sweet bread great paired with your morning coffe or as a base for an after dinner dessert. Top with fresh bananas or strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream for a refreshing finish to any meal. INGREDIENTS 1/2 C. Vegetable Oil 1 C. Sugar 2 Eggs - Beaten 3 Bananas - Mashed (over ripe bananas are best for this) 2 C. Flour - Sifted 1 TSP Baking Soda 1/2 TSP Salt 1/2 TSP Baking Powder 1/2 TSP Vanilla 3 TBSP Milk
cake pan. Set aside. Blend Oil and Sugar in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Add in eggs and pre-mashed bananas; combine well. In separate bowl sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet until well blended. Finally, add in vanilla and milk. Pour into pan and bake. 9x5x3 - 1 Hour 9x13 - 30 Min For Muffins use standard muffin pan and pake for 15-20 Min
ASSEMBLY Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees. Grease 9x5x3 bread pan or 9x13
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At first glance, the book appears to work with the familiar theme of generational attitudes toward the digitalization of society. Rather than emulating Marc Prensky’s binary perspective (http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/) of youth and technology (digital immigrants vs. digital natives), however, Levine and Dean provide a much more credible viewpoint that the variables involved are numerous and sometimes contradictory. Moreover, they recognize that tremendous socioeconomic change is still underway. This provides for a more fluid interpretation of the present that is informed by its past, tries to understand itself today, and looks toward the future. By looking at strengths and challenges within the current generation of college students, the authors take a pragmatic view that they should be undervalued compared to previous generations, but rather:
“[...] this generation requires a different brand of education that will enable them to attain their personal dreams and to serve the society they must lead. The education we offered to previous generations, whether successful or not, will not work for these students.” (Chapter 8) Will universities take on the challenge? The bottom line: Generation on a tightrope provides a snapshot of the present that is informed by our past. The strength of the book is reflected in the depth of discussion of many dimensions shared by today’s college students. The resultant snapshot should be used to inform university administrators, policy makers, parents, and students as they build universities that are relevant for the future. Photo Credit: Amazon.com
HEROES LIVE AMONG US! Though they might not wear capes and masks, they live and work selflessly providing inspiration, giving benefit, and becoming an icon in our hearts and minds. Your Community Insider will honor outstanding local heroe’s from Morris County in our Community Journey. The Morris County Hero Program is a celebration of those who go above and beyond to help keep our community running. This program provides you, our valued community member, with a forum to nominate and honor individuals based on their ability to impact, improve and inspire our local community. If you know someone thats providing great leadership, setting an example for those around them, and making our community a better place to live, nominate your local hero by emailing us at email@example.com and tell us all about them.
“More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.” ~ Woody Allen
ISSUE I13 - Montville / Boonton
U.S. No Longer Top 10 in Prosperity - Why Culture Matters By Lisa Canning A recent global index shows the U.S. on the outside looking in of the world’s most prosperous countries. The 2012 Legatum Prosperity Index shows the trio of Scandinavian countries—Norway, Denmark and Sweden—at the top of the list while the U.S. has fallen out of the top 10 for the first time. The index evaluates global wealth and well-being, benchmarking 142 countries around the world in eight distinct categories: Economy; Education; Entrepreneurship & Opportunity; Governance; Health; Personal Freedom; Safety & Security; and Social Capital.
“GDP alone can never offer a complete view of prosperity,” said Jeffrey Gedmin, president and CEO of the London-based Legatum Institute. “We believe that by measuring the quality of education, healthcare, social capital and opportunity, our Prosperity Index gives the clearest view of how countries are prospering today and how they are likely to prosper in the future.”
Social capital is about the value of social networks. Strong social networks bond similar people together and also provide a bridge to bring diverse populations together through a shared understanding that mutual benefit will flow throughout the network. Social capital is the precursor- the necessary glue- to a highly functioning economy. Social capital is not built in isolation as it requires connectivity through human communication. Social capital is increased when people share and work together. By its very nature, it also easily sheds light on social pathologies. Until recently, culture was perceived as part of social policy and was not tied to economics. While it is increasingly recognized by the likes of Americans for The Arts, Aspen Institute, Richard Florida, Dan Pink and others, large investment, like the Knight Foundation‘s 20 million investment into Detroit, are still too few and far between. The most pragmatic approach for the U.S.A. to address this issue is to invest in culture at the intersections of entrepreneurship education and the building of social capital.
The top 10 countries in the index were: Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Finland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland. So what do our prosperity leaders share in common? They all demonstrate a value system based on culture. The quality of education, healthcare, social capital and opportunity is what flows out of a robust culture. Building social capital is the gateway to increasing a culture of prosperity because through the sharing of ideas and knowledge the intellectual potential of regions and the building of a more open and tolerant citizen in society rises.
Discovery The Secrets Of Long Term Love Physical affection is so powerful that, even if a relationship doesn’t always seem perfect (and what relationship always does?), it may help make up for the negatives. Certain couples, for example, reported low marital satisfaction due, presumably, to some of the common challenges couples face (e.g. differences in parenting styles, financial stress, divisions of responsibility). However, if their levels of physical affection remained high, the couple still reported intense love. A survey reveals many American couples are still “intensely in love” even after a decade together--and hints at the reasons why by Emma Seppala During America’s most popular TV event, the Superbowl, one much-anticipated advertisement featuring supermodel Adriana Lima painted a pretty sad state of affairs with regards to love. In an ad for Kia cars, a married couple sleeps side by side and we are given a glimpse into their dreams. While the woman dreams of being swept away by a long-haired hunk on a horse, her husband is speeding down a racetrack in a car while Lima and a horde of bikini-clad women cheer him on. Although the dream eventually ends with the couple meeting exchanging weak smiles and going for a drive in the Kia (this is family television after all), the peak moments are clearly the fantasies. The deadened couple compensates for lack of love with wild dreams and a Kia car purchase. Is this the inevitable end point of a long-term relationship? Think again! A recent study by Daniel O’Leary and colleagues at Stony Brook University suggests that a large percentage of couples stay intensely in love even after a decade of marriage. The findings may also reveal the secrets to keeping intense love alive. O’Leary and his team surveyed a nationally representative sample of 274 couples married ten years or more on the state of their love life. When they first collected the data, the researchers were dumbfounded by the large percentage of people who claimed to still be intensely in love. The couples answered the question “how in love are you with your partner?” on a scale of 1 to 7 from “not at all in love” to “very intensely in love.” To the researchers’ surprise, the most frequent response was “very intensely in love” for both men and women. Forty six percent of women and 49 percent of men reported being “very intensely in love,” according to the report, which was published in the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science. What are the secrets of intense love over the long term? Not surprisingly, the list was topped by physically affectionate behaviors such as hugging and kissing. The survey couldn’t determine cause and effect, but oxytocin, sometimes called the “cuddle hormone,” goes coursing through our bodies when we receive hugs or make love. We then feel closer to our partner and long-term bonding ensues. Decades of psychological research shows that social connection is a fundamental human need and essential for our
physical and mental well-being. Affection is such an important element of love that the couples in the study who did not report any physical affection also reported a loveless relationship. The researchers found that frequency of sex was also strongly associated with intensity in love, but that, interestingly, it was not always a requirement: 25 percent of those who had not had sex in the last month still reported being intensely in love. Physical affection is so powerful that, even if a relationship doesn’t always seem perfect (and what relationship always does?), it may help make up for the negatives. Certain couples, for example, reported low marital satisfaction due, presumably, to some of the common challenges couples face (e.g. differences in parenting styles, financial stress, divisions of responsibility). However, if their levels of physical affection remained high, the couple still reported intense love. Thinking positively about one’s partner is another common element of couples intensely in love, according to the findings. When people see each other every day, they can sometimes take each other for granted and stop noticing the characteristics they used to appreciate about their mate. However, a little awareness and gratitude may go a long way in countering this tendency. When we get to know someone well, we naturally learn about both their strengths and their weaknesses but it is really up to us whether we choose to focus on one side or the other. By focusing on what we appreciate and admire in our partner and being grateful for the value and gifts that our partner brings into our lives, we cannot but think positively and may feel more intense love as a consequence. Love may also be cultivated in shared experiences. Couples intensely in love reported participating in novel, engaging, and challenging activities together. Some of the greatest moments of intimacy in a relationship come from the simple joys of cooking or exercising together, exchanging intellectual ideas over common readings, learning a new and challenging skill like skiing, sharing spirituality by attending church or meditating, and going on travel adventures. That togetherness may create a shared thread of life experience and memories. What of happiness? Can a relationship lead to happiness? Certainly, it can. Yet the survey suggests that taking care of your own happiness may also be important. Personal happiness was associated with intensity of love, especially for women. In other words, one may think that tending to one’s own well-being through a night out with friends or time at the gym is selfish, but taking responsibility for one’s own happiness has the potential to drastically improve the quality of our relationship. Of course, being intensely in love may also be contributing to the happiness observed. No matter what message Kia ads and marketing specialists may try to send you, longterm love is here to stay and has absolutely nothing to do with material goods. Surveys such as this one give us a far more accurate picture of how to maintain the flames of love. Sharing affection, thinking positively and with gratitude about our partner’s qualities, engaging in shared activities and being happy independently of the relationship may all be important features of an intensely loving relationship.
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ISSUE I13 - Montville / Boonton
13 Ways to Engage Reluctant Writers by John Spencer I don’t feel like a fantastic reading teacher. I’m still trying to figure out sixth grade math and science. However, I feel confident enough in teaching writing to share a few thoughts on how to engage reluctant writers: 1. Make it practical. There are some students who hate writing, because all they’ve ever written is stories and poems and they’ve never learned about the clarity of prose or the need to be concise in a functional text.
during writing time, you’ll see kids sitting down against a wall, moving their chairs in focussed solitude or finding comfort in their own desk, because it is “theirs.” There is free movement, but it never feels crazy. There is a general hum of talking, but it never gets loud. 10. Share your passion for writing. If you don’t have passion for writing, find someone who does and bring them in as a guest speaker. I tell my students about my blogging, journal writing, magazine editorials and novel-writing. I want them to know that writing is more than simply an activity one has to do for school.
2. Make it impractical. Allow students to be fantastical, bizarre, witty and off-the-charts crazy in their writing. 3. Allow freedom. At least half of what kids write in my class begins without prompts. I tell them that they can choose the topic or the genre as long as they’ve hit each genre by the time we’re done. I also don’t set requirements for length. They respond well to this type of freedom, often going above what they had previously thought they would do. Similarly, I teach kids four or five ways to pre-write and then I let them choose the approach that they prefer. 4. Help struggling writers. It isn’t wrong to create diagrams showing how to construct paragraphs. I keep word banks of transition words. I work with lower-level ELL students on higher grammatical structures and creating compound sentences. There is nothing wrong with scaffolding. The problem, however, is that teachers often use this approach with every student in the class. 5. Meet one-on-one with kids instead of pulling small groups. Simply sitting down and conferencing for makes a huge difference in editing. 6. Write more. We do a disservice to kids when we treat every piece of writing as a long, laborious process with pre-writing, drafting, editing and final drafts. Sometimes they just need to practice writing more. 7. Make it more interesting. Change up the writing prompts. In other words, find topics that engage them either by being novel, unusual, creative or deeply meaningful. I’ve found that visual writings prompts can make a huge difference in helping students want to write more. 8. Find a real audience. Let them create podcasts with their writing. Let them record videos based upon their writing (visual poetry works well for this) and let them blog on topics that they find interesting. Allow them to engage with one another in a written format. I’ve found that blogging comment sentence stems can really help them learn how to use meaningful discourse. 9. Make the space inviting. I’m struck by the term “binder vomit” to describe classrooms covered in chart paper. I don’t want that. It’s not where I go to write. I like to write at Starbucks or in a comfortable chair or outside by a garden. The space matters. If you walk into my classroom
writing prompt example 11. Don’t break it into silos. I don’t buy into the idea that we should do three weeks of expository and then two weeks of poetry and then four weeks of persuasive text followed by a month of functional text. They wear out when it’s hyper-structured. I think it works best to cycle back to genres. 12. Create projects. Documentaries are heavy in writing and heavy in research. However, the research isn’t simply “a phase.” Similarly, business proposals and budgets require a ton of writing without it feeling like a “writing project.” Want kids to peer edit? Let them co-write a website. 13. Be creative. I like to have students design things. It can be a treehouse, a baseball stadium, a perfect school, a new course syllabus. Just let the mind wander, find something passionate and then write about it until it feels like it could be real to you.
Sturla Singer/Songwriter Scott Sturla is renowned for his powerful vocals and his gift for creating passionate songs. Scott has performed both acoustic and electric shows in the Morris County NJ, the North Jersey area as well as in Washington DC for the GI Film Fest and Thanks USA. The single “8 Days” was selected to be used for the 1st Annual GI Film Fest event in 2007. After stepping away from the music scene for some time, Scott and his band STURLA are back. Scott wrote the song “8 Days” based on actual events that started on the 22nd of September, 2004. Scott’s younger brother, Stff. Srgnt. James Sturla was severely injured in Iraq after he and his fellow Marines came under attack near the Al Anbar Province. After 27 surgeries and 24 months later, Scott’s brother returned to Iraq. The song explores his true emotions and respect for what his brother and all the men and women in the armed forces stand for. “It’s hard enough to say goodbye once and receive the phone call 8 days later, but to say goodbye twice is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with.” – Singer / Songwriter, Scott Sturla For more information please visit the band’s website at http://www.sturlaband.com
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COMMUNITY CALENDAR OF EVENTS JANUARY 21, 2013 11am to 12pm Storytelling Morristown National Historical Park 30 Washington Pl Morristown,NJ 07960 973-539-2016 JANUARY 22, 2013 8am to 9am Walk Morristown: Tuesday Morning Walk 110 South St Morristown,NJ 07960 JANUARY 22, 2013 1pm to 2pm JoJo’s Cool Workout-Adult Ice Skating Classes Twin Oaks Ice Rink 65 Columbia Rd Morristown,NJ 07960 973-377-7011 JANUARY 25, 2013 8pm to 9pm Manhattan Comedy Night Mayo Performing Arts Center 100 South St Morristown,NJ 07960 973-539-8008
JANUARY 25, 2013 8pm to 9pm Friday Night Skate Mennen Sports Arena 161 E Hanover Ave Morristown,NJ 07960 JANUARY 26, 2013 8am to 9am Saturday Morning Road Ride From Marty’s Marty’s Reliable Cycle 173 Speedwell Ave Morristown,NJ 07960 973-538-7773 JANUARY 26, 2013 9am to 3:30pm Family Photo Scavenger Hunt The Frelinghuysen Arboretum 353 East Hanover Avenue Morristown,NJ 07960 973-326-7603 JANUARY 26, 2013 8pm to 9pm Legends of 80s Rock with John Waite, Tommy Tutone and John Parr Mayo Performing Arts Center 100 South St Morristown,NJ 07960 973-539-8008
JANUARY 27, 2013 ALL DAY New Jersey Jazz Society 40th Anniversary Concert Dorothy Young Center for the Arts - Drew University 36 Madison Avenue,Madison,NJ 07940 973-455-7008 JANUARY 31, 2013 8pm to 9pm HEART In Concert Mayo Performing Arts Center 100 South St Morristown,NJ 07960 973-539-8008 FEBRUARY 2, 2013 7:30pm to 8:30pm Masters of Illusion Mayo Performing Arts Center 100 South St Morristown,NJ 07960 973-539-8008 February 3, 2013 12pm to 4pm A Winter’s Day on the Farm Fosterfields Living Historical Farm 73 Kahdena Road Morristown,NJ 07960 973-631-5343
February 8, 2013 7:30pm to 8:30pm New York Voices Roxbury High School 1 Bryant Dr Succasunna,NJ 07876 February 9, 2013 11am to 4pm Chocolate Festival Morris Museum 6 Normandy Heights Road Morristown,NJ 07960 973-971-3700 February 14, 2013 8pm to 9pm From New York With Love Mayo Performing Arts Center 100 South St Morristown,NJ 07960 973-539-8008
For more information about these events and to find more local events, visit the THINGS TO DO section on our website YourCommunityInsider.com
Community Journey is the local community paper of the Morris County New Jersey area. We cover local events, the arts, and general community...