ETHOS

ETHOS

Monday, March 17, 2008

So I watched The Departed tonight, and cleaned out a bunch of old papers from my files— my files being cubbyholes in the attic. I pulled out all kinds of student teaching papers—eighth grade- a propaganda unit, a green matchbox car I took from one of them, a bunch of stories I copied for them. I taught “The Lottery” and at the beginning of the period they pulled a slip of paper from a black box I spray- painted in my driveway. The black paint stained the stone. I had to recount the slips for each class. The kid who pulled the slip with the big black dot was like, “What do get??”

“Oh, just wait,” I said. “You’ll see.”

I taught them a story called “I Always Do What Teddy Says” – really cool science fiction stuff from a collection Science Fact Fiction. I taught them stories from a collection called Kissing Tennessee. Stories all happening around this eighth grade dance. I cut out invitations to the dance (on purple paper) with fancy scissors and laid them on their desks. There’s a story about a kid who is questioning his sexuality, and I was told not to teach it. I taught the one with a girl who had been raped and was reading the inscriptions on the bathroom stall instead.

My first lesson in the classroom was designed to get them thinking about what they watch on television. I Xeroxed copies of the TV Guide and had them highlight stuff they wouldn’t watch, even if they were paid. One girl said, “I don’t watch television.”

You get an A+ hon.

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