Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What is your Metaphor?

Many of my scholars conclude "Metaphors are all around us" when they build their metaphor hypertext essays. We are always using something we know to help us understand or explain something we don't know. My scholars learn that metaphors are the genus, the umbrella, of the comparison of unlike things. Some of the more specific or species of the metaphor are simile, personification, anthropomorphism, hyperbole, and analogy. These five and others are specific metaphors, they have guidelines, limits, and specificity. Similes use like or as, for example. Personification makes things not human human. The analogy the classic SAT use of pairs comparisons.

One of my favorite exercises when we study the metaphor, is to ask, What is your Metaphor? I always find the metaphors we make for ourselves very interesting on any given day in any given situation. These metaphors change as the day progresses and so our moods.

One of my favorite articles about using metaphors starts out:
Teaching is like cheerleading. Your task is to motivate, enthuse, and get the students off the bleachers and involved in the game. When the team is winning, that’s easy to do; but when things are looking bleak, that’s when you really have to shake your pompoms, make a leap, do back-flips.

I am spring weather. I see the world coming alive. I am dark clouds, heavy with rain, but I pass more quickly than my sullen winter cousins. I hear the returning geese across the ridge. I hear the worms under the grass, running from the robins. I enjoy rolling over the prairie, surprising the joggers. I am a teacher.
In "Metaphor as Renewal: Re-Imagining Our Professional Selves" By Candida Gillis and Cheryl L. Johnson, I find the use of metaphor brilliant when I teach teachers or do any professional learning. A colleague reminded me about how we use metaphors when he walked into my class exasperated and exclaimed that he should have been a dentist because it felt like pulling teeth to get them to get their work done.

What is your metaphor?

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