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Teaching Brevity: Pennies in My Pocket

To learn how an economy of language forces choices of essentiality. It was a challenge that took me six years to meet. They are inexhaustibly useful, providing wholly digestible examples of expository writing from personal narrative, to literary journalism, from lyric essay to imaginative forms of cultural analysis appropriate for both creative writing and first-year writing courses.

They are short enough to read aloud in class so that we can feel the language in our mouths, track the moves of inquisition, and trace the spine of story.

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What are the challenges and opportunities of creating in liminal spaces? We were bodies made of smoke and water.

A Penny in My Pocket

But if I had to single out one lesson that Brevity has allowed me to create, it would be the lesson on using a collective voice in creative nonfiction. Fittingly, the person whose work inspired this lesson is the same person who introduced me to the journal: Lee Martin.

Ten foot tall and bulletproof in a going-nowhere-fast town in southeastern Illinois. A clique of Thai-American boys, to which the narrator belonged as a child, ostracizes another Thai-American boy who wishes to be part of the group. In short but not quite Brevity short, for this post already exceeds the maximum length for an essay in the journal , I carry Brevity essays into the classroom like pennies in my pocket.

They are all worth the same, but the variation astounds: some are brassy, some glisten with the high sheen of newness, some have the build-up of history on their faces, and some have been manipulated by other forces—run over by trains, fingered into metal-softness, grown over with a lattice of dirt or rust.

Each of them a singular accomplishment, and yet all sharing the same constraints. Already decided to try the Talk Big idea with them during our next eight-week session. Thank you for this, Amy Monticello!

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A gem. The pennies image is moving. Her work has appeared in Fourth […].

Read the other teaching posts here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 […]. Some auction houses offer free evaluations. Additionally, they can help get your coin certified by a grading service and guide you through the entire selling process. With so many rare coins out there, being a "penny pincher" might not be such a bad thing after all. You never know, one of your pennies could be worth the price of a nice dinner — or a whole lot more.


Forking Around Town: Tia Smith of the blog Pennies In My Pocket

Minda Zetlin is a freelance writer covering business, money, tech and collectibles. Like this story? Get Make It newsletters delivered to your inbox. All Rights Reserved. Skip Navigation. Money The easiest path to becoming a self-made millionaire, according to money expert Tom Corley, Contributor.

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Teaching Brevity: Pennies in My Pocket | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Make It. Trending Now. There are 4 main paths to becoming a millionaire—and this is the easiest one, says money expert. Walking down the street just the other day There was an old man who came up to me to say He said you look like a fine young man And I know you don't know who I am. He said, "I used to be the president of this big corporation, but I Haven't been quite the same since me and my wifes seperation.

I hate to ask but, have you got a dollar to spare? I've got two pennies in my pocket And I know that's not alot for a young man. I've got two pennies in my pocket But what's in my heart is worth more than what's in my hand.