Writers, T'is the Season


When I was teaching English Composition at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, I adapted "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and on the last day of classes cajoled my 18- and 19-year-old freshmen students into singing it. (As I recall, final grades might have entered into the discussion.) Despite some jagged interpretation of rhythm, we were unanimously impressive on the "NO MISSPELLED WORDS" line! ...and, yes, this is what we covered during the semester!

“ON THE LAST DAY OF CLASSES”

Tune: “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

( Adapted in the full spirit of a semester’s end by C. Lowrance )

Start of EACH verse:

INSTRUCTOR: On the last day of classes, my students gave to me…(On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…)

End of EACH verse ALL: A perfectly written essay! (a partridge in a pear tree)

STUDENTS: sing all verses, as follows:

BRILLIANT Revision! (2 turtle doves) …in a perfectly written essay!!!

CLARITY and Concision!! (3 French hens)

GOOD Use of Example!!! (4 calling birds)

NO MISSPELLED WORDS!! (5 gold rings)

MARVELOUS Tone and Style!! (6 geese a-laying)

FINE Process Analysis!! (7 swans a-swimming)

GREAT Comp and Contrast!! (8 maids a-milking)

STRONG Cause/Effect!! (9 ladies dancing)

EFFECTIVE Organization!! (10 lords a-leaping)

POWERFUL Style!! (11 pipers piping)

MEANINGFUL Content!! (12 drumers drumming)


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