tempestsarekind: (better a witty fool than a foolish wit)
[personal profile] tempestsarekind
This article doing the rounds on Twitter made me well up:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2012/08/25/classroom-making-classic-literature-matter/UzGfR7nI9g70eTkaHjg8DM/story.html

I'm fairly worried about going back into the classroom in a couple of weeks, after having all of last year off on a dissertation completion fellowship, and partly it's because I want every encounter to be transformative in this way, and yet I never see it happening. It's possible that it has and I've missed it - after all, beyond evaluations a few weeks after the course is over, we don't really get any followup with our students - and it's a gift of another sort to have had a fair number of students who already love Shakespeare or Austen or whatever I happen to be teaching. But I want my students' encounters with literature to offer them the possibility of making them different, because literature made me different - and yet I don't know how to achieve that goal. But it's lovely to read about it happening here.

In only slightly related news, I bought about sixty dollars worth of used books yesterday. *facepalm* But it was a pretty good haul! (she said, defensively.) The expensive book that tipped the scales was A Companion to Shakespeare, the Blackwell one edited by David Scott Kastan, but given that I check it out of the library all the time for one essay or another (in fact, I have it checked out right now), it seemed like a worthwhile purchase. I also picked up a paperback copy of Stanley Wells' Shakespeare & Co., two older New Mermaid paperbacks (Arden of Faversham and The Knight of the Burning Pestle), and a recent Arden edition of Everyman and Mankind. So, you know, it was a scholarly investment. Yeah.

Date: 2012-08-27 01:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lareinenoire.livejournal.com
Oh, my God, that article. Yes.

Date: 2012-08-28 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempestsarekind.livejournal.com
Too many feelings!

Date: 2012-08-27 10:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teliesin.livejournal.com
Great article. I'm sure you realize not every class can be like that one or like some of the fictions. My So-Called Life's episode where the teacher gets them excited about writing poetry for the Lit magazine. Or even Dead Poets Society. Most teacher's effects will be more subtle but still very important. I paid most attention to math and science classes in school, but I think the seeds my English teacher planted still took root, just took some time to grow. I really admire teachers especially if like you they want to make a difference.

Date: 2012-08-27 04:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempestsarekind.livejournal.com
No, I'm not expecting my students to stand on their desks and chant, or anything! I just wish I had some sense that they felt a little differently by the end of the semester.

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