bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY
playwright in brooklyn, NY

Halloween at Writopia!

November 1st, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

You most certainly cannot have Halloween at Writopia without the writing and reading aloud of scarrrrry storiesssssssss!!!!

The kids were given 45 minutes to write a scarrrrryyy storryyyyyyy with crucial elements of missing fingers, a heartbeat, a missing person, an animal, etc. Darkness, terror, strange things with rats /detectives / ghosts / pandas ensued!

You would THINK, from the slew of scary stories read, I would have had nightmares all night, but instead, Buddy, I dreamt I went with your family to cut down a Christmas Tree, or rather, we sat in the cabin eating cheese, while your Dad looked at trees. This is in no way related to the previous night when I dreamt that I ordered ‘a grilled cheese of biblical proportions,’ and the waiter brought me a grilled cheese the size and shape of the Bible. UNRELATED.

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Teachers teaching Teachers

October 6th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

It MUST be the re-release of Lion King, but everything this week seems to be circles of something, and today, it’s the circle of teachinnngggggggg, and it moves us alllll!  I had a great phone call today with one of my former teachers. I’m still new to teaching, and I wanted some teaching tips. I’m definitely learning to teach WHILE I teach, and am lucky to have once-professor’s brains to pick. Maybe one day my parents will teach me to parent.  More importantly, in case you’re wondering how exactly to spell the opening to Circle of Life, it’s Nants ingonyama bagithi baba, and it means here comes the Lion. And now, I have taught you something.

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Education: an observation

January 15th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

I know that I am so not qualified to comment on this, and that I have friends way more qualified to do so (see: Mr. and Mrs. Blaine  Barbee) but it was so nuts this week to go from teaching my eight year olds at Writopia to reading with 8 years in Bedstuy with New york cares. At Writopia, 8 year old Julia explains to a fellow eight year old who’s new to Writopia: if you get stuck in your story, you can ask Bekah for a prompt, or just look around the room for inspiration. It might end up being a bit of a non-sequitur, but that could be really exciting and cool. In Bedstuy, 8 year old Lorraine reads a whole chapter of a book sans inflection. When I ask her some comprehension questions – turns out she’s kind of getting it, but missing a lot of the meaning. She also struggles with the word ‘handkerchief’ and when I try to explain it to her it seems completely insane (and I agree) that someone would carry around with them a piece of cloth to blow their nose in. It reminds me of a conversation with Blaine re: the standardized tests for ESL kids, and how oftentimes there will be questions about upper class things like sailing, and the kids are like, what the heck is sailing? I guess my observation is just: there’s a huge huge huge divide that has everything to do with whether or not the kid is encouraged to read at home, or communicate with an expansive vocabulary.

I had to look up how to spell Non sequitur.

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ageism

January 5th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

Precocious child: Wait, how old are you?

Me: 28. Soooo I’m the oldest person here, yayyy!

Precocious child: wait, why are you happy about that? It means you’re closest to DEATH!

Touche, pupil.

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nervy!

January 5th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

I start teaching at Writopia today and I’m a bit nervous. It’s pretty much exactly like this picture above except I’m not Sylvester Stallone in a nice shirt and there’s no racially diverse administrative team to calm me down. I am equally excited though to meet the kids, play a few games and help them with their stories. It’s kind of a funny that I’m afraid of a small room full of darling and precocious 8 year olds, and I’m hoping that I quickly see that there’s nothing to fear, except fear itself, and not knowing how to answer a question, or upsetting or parent, or saying the wrong thing, or permanently damaging an child, psychologically, or slipping on ice and cracking head open on walk there.

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