A wind in the door

I’m back in Stubbville to spend a couple of days.  The Snork Maiden and I head home tomorrow; my NLNRU class meets for the first time on Wednesday.  Stubb finishes up here at the end of the week.  We have a plan for me to fly to meet him halfway through his journey home, and spend Sunday together in an intermediate city, then return on Monday in time to take the Snork Maiden to her dentist appointment.  She can stay overnight with my sister, but I haven’t quite worked out where she will be during the day on Monday. 

And during the rest of that week, lots of meetings and getting ready for the start of the school year at SA.  I think I’ve probably read my last book “for fun” for a couple of weeks; it’s time to go back to the SA summer reading and decide what to do with it in the first days of school.  I’m planning to start the honors classes off with a really demanding reading quiz, not a super-picky one but one designed to measure how attentively they read the summer books; whether they can comment astutely on, say, the style of a selected passage in the context of the whole book, for example.  And a major purpose of the quiz is to signal to them that a lot will be expected in honors, that there will be the challenge of rising to a more rigorous level of reading and discussion.  I’m not absolutely trying to make anyone drop out of honors, but if there’s anyone who doesn’t want to be challenged quite so much, they can’t say I didn’t warn them.  I wish I’d done something like this last year, but of course I didn’t have as good an idea as I do know of how honors differs from regular, or of how a certain percentage of the honors students are very conscientious about their work but not actually all that interested in, or excited by, English.  They’re the ones who expect that if they put in the time, they’ll get their A and move on, because that works fairly well in middle school, and it annoys the heck out of them when they write B papers and get B’s on them.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. What is the summer reading?

    I decided this summer that I couldn’t bear to re-read Gloria Naylor’s _Mama Day_, which is the required summer reading for our Am Lit class. It’s a really good novel, but one that I find emotionally devastating, and I decided I didn’t need to read it one more time in order to teach it, and that my emotional energies would be better spent elsewhere.

    _The Count of Monte Cristo_, on the other hand, I quite enjoyed re-reading for the freshmen, in part because it was only my second time doing so — and I do love a second reading of a novel!

    Reply

  2. Posted by meansomething on August 26, 2009 at 2:54 am

    Is it silly of me to be paranoid about identifying them? Maybe so, but I’ll leave out the titles anyway. Carrying over from last year, we have Jon Krakauer’s nonfiction book about the young college graduate who hiked into the Alaskan wilderness and did not come out. New this year, we have Yann Martel’s novel “Life of 3.14159…” And the honors class has a volume of poetry by Rita Dove, the one that is mostly sonnets and sonnetlike poems about the Demeter-Persephone myth.

    Reply

  3. “Life of 3.14159…” MS, you crack me up! I haven’t read that Rita Dove collection, but it sounds really interesting.

    Reply

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