fictional-real-life inferring

hey bella, caught you inferring!  haha, not so funny {i get it}, yet highly entertaining to be reading along in this hyper-aware state of metacognition, and infer that your protagonist is inferring in her “real life” and see her clues and schema that help her make her inference… haHA!!  talk about the circle of life — this is a totally wicked version of a circle of comprehension!

p22 “I bit my lip to hide my smile.  Then I glanced at him again. His face was turned away, but I thought his cheek appeared lifted, as if he were smiling, too.”

{C} clues: his cheek appeared lifted  {S} schema:  something is smile worthy because it made her smile; our cheeks lift/raise up when we smile  {I} bella’s inference: i can’t be sure because his head is turned away so i can’t really see his face but i think he is also smiling {because that would make total sense, but i don’t KNOW so i can only INFER}

p32 “It seemed excessive for them to have both looks and money.  But as far as I could tell, life worked that way most of the time {S}. It didn’t look as if it bought them any acceptance here. {I} No, I didn’t fully believe that.  The isolation must be their desire {I}; I couldn’t imagine any door that wouldn’t be opened by that degree of beauty {S/I}.”

What else is there to say about this awesome-ness? i think the clues {C} are earlier in paragraph, i have spared you the entire passage about the shiny silver Volvo, designer clothes, remarkable good looks and wearing dishrags with style.  Also highlights how it is not always so neat-and-tidy as “C.S.I.” in actuality.  this whole quote seems to be inferential, yet bella would not have been able to think or state any of this without solidly working schema.  never did she say “i know this because…” but clearly she does know this {here, i think of implications of teaching and assessing this in the classroom…}.  i underlined what i find to be bella’s most important inference in this selection, and it also actually functions as a PREDICTION for us, the reader.  we don’t know yet, at this point in the story, that she is exactly correct and the cullens enjoy a degree of isolation and arm’s length interaction exactly as they have cultivated it.  the opposite is almost more true {me+contradiction} – their slight amount of human participation and interaction is because of their desire, without that the humans would be dead and drained and the cullens nomands on their way to their next meal.  but we don’t know any of this yet, on page 32.  bella is setting us up for the story.

{tingles, i tell you, tingles!!}


how my schema helps me

back to itsy bitsies and friends, i notice that when Jessica, Angela and Bella discuss the “gossip” about all the adopted Cullen teenage siblings living together and “dating” at the same time, using my schema (background knowledge) helps me infer to understand more fully why this causes gossip in Forks.  Bella says, on p21, “Her voice held all the shock and condemnation of the small town, I thought critically.  But, if I was being honest, I had to admit that even in Phoenix, it would cause gossip.” So, all my schema for small towns, “rules”, religious upbringing/morals, gossip and family structures helps me to understand that Forks is a small town with probably few scandalous events, so this would cause big talk for the town.  When Bella mentions Phoenix, my schema helps me see beyond Forks and how this might be a big deal in the larger “world”.  I can also make a personal connection that helps me clarify the emotions of the gossipers and the gossipees – a controversial union in the family.  In my experience, people are either on one side of the great divide on the issue or the other, I have not experience a lot of fence-sitting in this type of situation.  Applying my experience to the fictional one, I do understand better how wicked and fierce the gossip could have been, and how the condemnation was probably thick in the air and further ostricized the newcomers from the locals (since we are told humans instinctively would give them a wide berth without realizing why!).

I am making inferences here, and while I can read the words and “get” it in passing, making the connections and inferences help to extend my understanding.  It is a little cumbersome to explain, which has some implications for instruction and assessment in the classroom, which we see regularly.  It’s messy stuff.  I see how making the metacognition a more explicit part of the thinking makes the strategy more tangible — we can talk more about results and yield.  Maybe?  What can we A.P.E and what can we not A.P.E??

more about metacognition