Thursday, May 7, 2009


So if you just keep plugging away...

My students have been dazzling me with their insights into Heart of Darkness. Teaching great works of literature is like leading a group therapy session... I have a little more experience with the books, but I feel as if they're such eminent works of art that I'm stuck dealing with them just as much as the students feel stuck dealing with them. Sometimes I feel like, oh god, I'm all alone in the conversation of this book, so I have to keep up a running monologue until someone in the class takes a plunge. I know this isn't the most effective way of teaching, but it happens. I was dazzled on many levels today by what seniors were saying about this book! I finally felt, for the first time really, that I can rock back on my heels and enjoy the experience of teaching it... like I'm not scared they're not going to get it, if that makes sense. I end up saying and doing a lot of strange things because of the fear of them not getting it. For instance the other day (in ernest) I drew a heart on the chalkboard and labeled it "heart," then colored in a dark patch and wrote "darkness." It wasn't until the end of the day that I saw it up there and cracked up. Diagrams?! What would the diagram be for Meditation 17, or Oedipus? One student made me feel better when she said that she thought my illustration should replace the cover art.


Secret Cartoonist said...

new cover? *you have to copy and paste it*

Decontee said...

Whenever I read your blog I think "maybe I DO want to be an english teacher."

we'll see.

Tell Mrs Lolli I said HI.

John said...

It's not an easy job, civilizing the natives, but someone has to do it... : )