My students are struggling with inference, tone and mood. How do you figure out what the author is trying to convey? How do you know what the author feels about what they are writing about? And what if the multiple choices provided to you don't include your mood as you read the piece?
I've discovered that I also struggle with inference, tone and mood. Daily. In all the little communications come at me from all directions in electronic form. Telegraphic messages where less is more... a few words intended to convey full paragraphs of meaning.
I get emails or texts from people and I infer all sorts of communications that may or may not be there. If I'm up, up, up... I may not read overly much into ambiguous messages. But those very same messages when I am down, down down... contain devastating subtext.
Intended by the author? Probably not. Who knows. It is all in the interpretation.
And as I have realized many times... and will realize many times again... the onus is not on the sender, but on the receiver of the message to not imbue the words with imaginary footnotes.
The problem is, there usually are imaginary footnotes. I'm just not very good at determining what they are so I make up a bunch of stupid ones that might be loosely related to whatever the person was trying to say.
Most commonly, I assume that something I have said has caused stress or pain or anger and I worry about how I can respond in a way that will fix this problem. I'm working on this.
So that when someone says, "Are you free on Saturday" I don't assume that they are saying, "You haven't managed to make any space for me in your very busy schedule and I'm not even sure if you care about me anymore. This question is a litmus test for our relationship and if you decline to meet with me on Saturday I will sever all ties with you. Have a nice day."
Maybe they are thinking these things. Maybe they really are just idly wondering if I am free on Saturday. Maybe they feel bad for not seeing me more often and not the other way around. But I don't think of these things. I look at the texts through puke-colored glasses and instantly put the worst possible spin on them.
I need to have multiple choice answers to identify the tone of the author's text.
Choose between the following... The writer's tone is:
I am now going to go back to breathing deeply and not creating whole worlds out of a few simple phrases.
Grateful Crap: helpful children
good food. made salmon and avocado/tomato salad along with wild rice and roasted potatoes
not too much panic
meds: 150mg lamotrigine, 20mg lurasidone
I haven't heard back from Psych NP about lurasidone. I will call her tomorrow and leave a message. I'm kinda wanting to stop taking it rather than pick up a prescription for something new. And oh crap I still didn't try to schedule with her. Well, regardless it isn't one of the medications that it is hugely problematic to stop taking. It isn't even necessary to taper on and off. The most important med so far has been the lamotrigine which I will definitely not stop taking.
Quaker, teacher, parent,