It’s Good to Let Your Writing Sit for a While

Z starts reading his report about Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson as if he is a radio announcer.

K: Shouldn’t it be in chronological order?

Z: Yeah. I said something he did in 2004, went to 2006, and then back to 2004.

Z reads. Z stops.

Z: I see a typo.

K doesn’t ask what he changed.

Z reads on.

K: Is the name of that publication [Natural History] italicized?

Z: It is now.

Z finishes reading.

K: Why don’t you put something current?

Z: Like what?

K: Remember I told you he’s got some program called “Pluto Files”?

Z: Oh, yeah.

Z looks it up and adds it to the paper. He gets excited when he learns the show airs in March.

K: Did you set it up?

Z: Nope. I just put it on the end.

K: You have to set it up.

Z: How?

K: You could say “Recently” or “This month” or something like that.

Z makes the change. He writes, “Recently, he is working on a show called “The Pluto Files” that will air in March 2010. It is a documentary based on a book about the condition of Pluto.”

K didn’t realize the documentary was based on a book.

Z: Mom, I have 299 words. Should I add some more to make it over 300?

K: What are the requirements?

Z: 250-300 words.

K: Have you included all of the points the teacher listed?

Z: Yes.

K: Well, you’re well within the requirements. Don’t add anything unless it’s significant. Don’t give him [the teacher] fluff.

Z: OK, Mom, can I print it now?

He laughs because he has pasted a picture that he thinks is funny into the report.

K: Go ahead, but you’re not done. Tomorrow you’ll read it and edit it. It’s good to let your writing sit for a while.

This is good news to Z. So good, he tries to use it against K.

Z: Now I’m going to do research on the Lynnhaven River. I won’t read it today because it needs to sit.

K: Your writing needs to sit, not someone else’s. That poem is due Friday and you don’t even have a topic.*

Z laughs because his scheme didn’t work.

Z: OK, Mom, I’ll read it.

*When K read this blog entry to Z so he could check it for accuracy, he told her he does have a topic because the class is supposed to write about water.