Sunday, November 9, 2008
The Hopkins crunch is starting. I have literally had not time since Monday to post, as the academic stars are aligning to destroy my sleep cycle completely. But I figured I should get it done before we have another class tomorrow and I forget completely what happens. We spent the last class reading "Franchise" aloud because none of the kids had actually read it. It took way more time than I had anticipated it would. After we finished it they wanted to discuss it, but because we wanted to workshop we only talked about it briefly. They really liked it although some of the kids were too practical for their own good and had a hard time suspending their disbelief to think that things could actually be that way. We talked a little about the rules of science fiction, how it must build off the world we know for orientation, how much of science fiction is satire, etc. They seemed to enjoy it. After that we workshopped two of the poems. Both were very good. One kid tried a sonnet and even though the meter was off he stuck to a syllable count and a rhyme scheme. It was really encouraging that he put so much effort into the poem. The other girl did a free verse poem about nature. She had a lot of great images. She is the most talented writer in the first class. Her comments are always extremely insightful and her poetry is great, but she likes to sit in the back of the class and refuses to engage unless we force her to, so it's a struggle to get her to participate. We gave them "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" by Flannery O'Connor to read for this week. Although the theme is a little lofty it's an easy read and I figured they need some sex or violence to keep them engaged. I can only hope they actually do the reading this week. My plan for tomorrow is to lecture on Freytag's pyramid and basic plot structure and identify that in A Good Man. If they didn't read it again I am not sure what we are going to do. The second class was on a field trip so we didn't hold class. Their schedules are so wacky, but it was for the best since they were a class ahead and now we are back to where we should be. We'll see how tomorrow goes. I just really hope they do the work.