Current/Recent Reading List

12 October 2006

We're on our way, Lizzy.

I’m so stoked about starting Pride and Prejudice in my honors class next week, that I just can’t wait. I also have excerpts from the A & E mini-series ready to go. This is the first real opportunity I’ve had to teach P & P, given the constraints of the ninth grade classes I’ve taught until this year. Of course, we are supposed to be focusing on world literature in 10th grade, but hey, Jane Austen was of this world, was she not? Exactly.

There is some mathematical principle that states the more excited I am about a piece of literature, the more the kids will disappoint me with their reactions. Nonetheless, we forge ahead, refusing to bow before the gods of ambivalence.

Me: By the way, next week we will begin reading that book you see on the top shelf over there.

Student: (perplexed) A book? We’re going to read a whole book?

Me: Yeah, I know. What a novel concept. Get it? Novel concept? Ha Ha!

Other, Seemingly Precocious Student: I don’t get it.

Me: It was a pun.

Seemingly Precocious One: What is the pun?
And yes, I then had to explain the pun. Took all the fun out of it.

But I’m sure Elizabeth Bennett would have laughed.


Anonymous said...

Dear God, I'm so sorry. Seriously, my college kids aren't much better.

middleagedhousewife said...

What other novels do you have lined up for your students this year? We've been several years in this debate here at ChezHousewife and this may play into that discussion. Call me curious ....

School Master P said...

We just finished Oedipus Rex, and part of the Iliad (not novels, I'm aware). We'll due portions of The Divine Comedy, and (I hope) The Merchant of Venice (still not novels, I know!). I haven't settled on the last one yet - maybe All Quiet on the Western Front?

middleagedhousewife said...

Don't think they could make it through P&P unless they were certain that the others mentioned would be next up. So much of English/Literature classes seem to be (dare I say it?) girl oriented; my boys struggle to get out of them alive. With personal journals, reflection papers and what all, well, the boys often just give up and take low grades. Posters, oh how we all hate posters!! Maybe it's time to move to your little hamlet and get the boys into a class with some bite to it. All Quiet on the Western Front - indeed!!!!!!

School Master P said...

I actually put a little thought into going back and forth with more boy-oriented, and then girl-oriented, lit. The top two scores on my Iliad test were from girls, but as a whole the boys far outpaced the girls on that test. I can't prove it, but I don't think that was entirely coincidental.

I've also been thinking hard about how to get the boys into P and P a little more. One angle that might appeal to these guys is the fact that Darcy, Bingley, etc. are really manly men - they love to hunt and fish, for instance. And, they obviously are befuddled by women, which might also appeal to how my guys feel sometimes.