Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Slogging through "Sam's Journals" (or, somebody shoot me)

"Careening down Sugarloaf's famed Narrow Gauge Trail, downhill ski racer Sam Morse drops 2430 vertical feet in a little over a minute. The 16-year-old reaches speeds in excess of 60 mph on the mile-and-a-half-long World Cup downhill course. Sam’s parents, coaches, and teammates support his pursuit of podium gold... so does his writing." 

I'm still wading my way through this article. Yet again for the 1000th time, I've discovered that writing is hard. Duh x 1000.

On the plane ride out to Las Vegas last week, after pounding away on the article for 15+- hours, I stopped mid-sentence and decided--because I didn't have a %$#@ clue what I was doing--I had to think in a more linear way. So, I constructed an outline. I can't believe I created a quasi-traditional outline... Usually, I have a list of topics and go from there. But this outline (and as you'll see below, it's a list with Roman numerals, Duh x 1001) seems to have gotten me off the dime.

It's not that I didn't know what I was doing in the article. It's just that I hadn't discovered what the data (i.e., interviews and writing) was saying. Sometimes, we have to live our writing to the point of utter bewilderment before a tiny speck of light begins to twinkle on the computer screen's page. Duh x 1002.

I Introduction
1       Pix of Sam racing
2     Glimpse of CVA (Bode, others … check with Chip/website)

II Sam through his teacher’s and coach’s lens

1.     Mary Poulin
2.     Chip Cochran

III Athletes’ Journals

1.     Definitions
2.     Glimpse at Serena Williams’ journal
3.     Carlos Delgado’s AJ
4.     David Chamberlain
5.     Primary focus of AJ is sport (While the primary focus of an Athlete’s Journal is sport, other areas of the athlete’s life find their way into the journal. P 6/CB article) *

IV Writing to Learn

1.     Zinsser
2.     Murray
3.     What SM said
4.     What Charlie B. said
5.     What the BMA athletes as a collective said
6.     How do athletes learn? (Chart)

V Modes of Writing

1.     Expressive
2.     Transactional
3.     Poetic
4.     Examples from journals

VI The Psychological

1.     Benefits of AJs
2.     WOB connections

VII Sam’s First Journals

1.     Story of ski trips
2.     Story of agreement between Kingfield ES and Morse family
3.     Examples and explanations

VIII Sam’s Recent AJs

1.     Examples
2.     Evidence of expressive writing
3.     Evidence of writing to learn
4.     What these examples reveal (questions for Sam)

IX What we learn from Sam’s writing

1.     What makes an effective coach for you?

X Summary

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