I often have thought about doing assignments along with my students, but hadn't found the time until this semester (although I do generally talk about how I'd approach the assignment and toss out some of my conceptual-art-essays).
- It's too easy for the concepts in my mind to seem clever, insightful, poignant so that it's with stomach-churning disappointment that I see them lying there lifeless when finally captured on paper. Hypothesis: the longer the ghost-essays wander around my head before venturing out to test the air the more painful the disillusionment. Learning to tolerate this pain is (one) key to overcoming writers' block, which is a serious problem for so many of my students. The idea, of course, is to convince them that Revision will come riding to the rescue on that cliched White Horse.
- The other important thing, for me to remember and for students to understand, is that in the process of putting down these ideas on paper brings up more ideas. As the mathematicians say, this is a nontrivial statement.