Pictures

I’ve been catching up on posts about NTPRS, most notably Laurie’s and Bess’s (see them in the blog list to the right), as well as a big string going on at Ben’s site. It’s amazing how much everyone is on the same track right now after having been at the conference last week, and I am impressed by how well the Internet helps spread the wealth to any who couldn’t attend as everyone chews on the information and digests it by writing. Be sure to go to the NTPRS website, because all the handouts are available there.

And in the meantime, I keep getting life examples of what I learned at NTPRS. Since I got to spend most time with Laurie, I learned most from her. One of her gems is the extent to which we need to assist students in forming pictures in their head. “Language,” said Laurie, “is almost always for the purpose of creating pictures in other people’s heads.” I was surprised how much it helped people at NTPRS to have the person we were PQA-ing stand up and wave to the crowd during Russian classes. I honestly thought that all of the “students” could form a picture of someone in their group. They could, once we’d identified that person.

And now that I’ve been home almost twelve hours, I can add another example. While I was at NTPRS and on his dad’s farm in Virginia, my husband was taking five high school friends on a crazy ten-day tour of our part of the state. He got them on hikes and out glacier viewing, into bear country and up mountains. They saw Denali when no one else had for days, and ate at Food Network restaurants (who knew we had some!). Karl kept telling me the details of their adventures, and I kept getting them mixed up. It’s not really hard here–there are only two highways, so it’s not easy to imagine things out of spacial order. But until I sat next to Veronica and looked at her amazing pictures, I couldn’t get the images and the sequence into my head! I had plenty of background and context, compelling stories, and a certain amount of personalization (my husband in the pictures), but it took the pictures to get straight.

Like SLOW, this “picture it” thing is taking a long time for me to acquire.

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