Group Dynamics – Teacher/Student Relationships


Teaching is at best a difficult proposition.

Recently a young friend of mine ran into an interesting situation when his college professor issued grades on an assigned essay. For all the class to see, the instructor wrote the breakdown on the chalk board. At the very bottom of the prodigious list of letters was a single zero—- zero is given at the small community institution for only two reasons: failure to turn in an assignment or cheating. He was guilty of neither.

When his paper was returned to him, a glaring red note effaced the work. “This is listed in my grade book as a zero until we talk. Please arrange a meeting in my office.” When the student approached the professor’s desk after class to make a date to discuss the composition, the teacher did not know that he was indeed the aforesaid accused, although he had more than an adequate period of time to familiarize himself with the small class.

It makes one stop to ponder who taught this man of learning.

Is it any wonder that the student in the above scenario lost respect for his professor?

The internet is filled with available groups for bloggers, authors and want-to-be writers. We converse with experts and novices on a daily basis. Life in this electronic world is complicated, communication instantaneous. In online interactions we often forget that our written words have no inflections, no emotions. One of my blogging associates, Kristen Lamb, recently said that writing is like boxing– you must learn to take a punch. That seems to be most certainly true about writing networks and all of our internet interactions.

You may very well be someone who gets knocked down and gets up again…

However, we all need to keep in mind that not everyone can withstand that same verbal blow. We are all at different stages of our boxing…err writing careers. Identified as professionals or teachers in this field, it becomes a responsibility to encourage, not discourage.

Sometimes we know a great deal about our chosen topic, but little about interacting with others.

Respect is something that is not difficult to embrace and is two directional. When we speak thoughtfully to others who are trying to learn, we demonstrate our capacity as profound teachers. When we are derisive, we garner their disrespect.

I have been guilty of many things in conversations– primarily, of forgetting that my typing lacks inflection or stage directions. The results can be that of dealing a punch without intent to damage. I may be joking, but my subject— unaware of my sense of humor—believes that I am in a boxing match. In retrospect, I can understand the sensitivity of a student or a teacher as I poised my cannon of humor and fired the trigger. It isn’t a pretty picture.

Much like the teacher who accuses a student in front of a class without thinking, we fire an “IMHO” without remembering that the other person may not know we are laughing at ourselves. Comments on professionalism or lack thereof need to be moderated with compassion. If our students were already professionals, would they come to our teaching situations?

Adult Fantasy a Misnomer?

Recently I was told that issues in my book, Dreamer, might cause some to squirm. It was written for an adult audience. However, it does not contain truly explicit scenes or rough language. It is a fantasy story. Characters enter into very adult situations.

I suppose that it deserves a warning lable…it is not a PG rated book as is my serial here “To Reach You.” I like to keep my blog more appealing to a general audience. I reference this book in my blog but I don’t link to a place where you can read it.

What makes something adult fantasy? To me that means it’s something for a mature audience. And that’s a concept that a parent decides —if the reader is under 18 years of age.

Tidbit Tuesday — April 2 / 2013

This is a Facebook event for readers to enjoy short author or blogger excerpts. I’d like to honor my fellow writers for their hard work as well as our readers for their participation in our successes.
We will all be keeping out posts to 10 lines and a link…something easy to peruse yet enjoyable.
I’m hoping the event will bring readers and authors together in a pleasant experience for all.


Book Review/ author Interview Patrick-Exposed!

I’d like to thank Amanda Fanger for reading and reviewing Dreamer. as well as interviewing a rather bashful author.
The interview made me realize how painfully shy I can be.

Blogging is difficult for me. It cuts close to home. Some of the things I can be coaxed into saying are dreadfully personal, yet I avoid talking about favorite foods, books, colors as a whole rather deliberately. I guess it makes me too human.

Cheers, Amanda and here’s to all my readers. I hope you enjoy.


Yesterday was an Irish holiday. I’m not really certain what that means now that Patrick is no longer a saint… How do you fall from sainthood,you might very well ask. It must have been all of that whiskey or green beer. Or maybe those leprechauns…or were those peanuts? Either way— Did I say I have a monster hangover?

Tuesday, It’s Raining Somewhere—Just Not Here

Maybe I should have looked over my shoulder when I said that I don’t worry. I try not to stress too much over the things I like. If I let writing become something that causes me anxiety, I won’t give it my all, but hesitate on every word. 

Of course I care what people think. I’ve offered up words that come straight from my soul. However, if I let myself become too tangled in the maze of publishing, and popular opinion, it will change my work—and quite possibly not for the better.

As one of the people who don’t work well under stress, I need  to let things go. I need to practice one simple rule : first you must please yourself.

Life is Filled with Mysteries

As I polish off yet another chapter, I begin to wonder what’s in store for me. This is my second mystery. Granted it’s only less than half way complete, it echos the suspense of life. As a story-teller, my job is to answer the age-old question ‘what happens next?’, yet sometimes I am blind to the things happening around me. I make excuses where there can be none.
Another day…and I try to catch up to the next chapter before I can write no more chapters and the words begin to fail.

Here’s to the next chapter!