Thursday, November 25, 2010

Quiet Day

The week before Thanksgiving, I only had two students in my class: Mykhi and Saleha.

We ate Carma's cookies and read aloud a selection from Stanislaw Lem's The Cyberiad and talked about college. Saleha wants to go to Harvard. Mykhi wants to play football for the Terps; he also does a killer robot voice.

The Robot Bard of The Cyberiad

I found out that most of Saleha's family is still in Iran, and Mykhi's father played football for Notre Dame. His parents are a little more than 10 years older than me.

They really loved The Cyberiad, although they said at first that it couldn't be a real book because it has pictures in it. "That's the great thing about college," I said. "Your books have pictures and you only have class one day a week."

I lied a little bit. For the greater good.

The most interesting part about Lem's book was the nonsense language. It led us a to a surprisingly deep conversation about the nature of words, the source of the universe, and God vs. robots.

At the end of class, I spent some time with each of them developing the story-lines for their spooky tales. Mykhi's decided to do his as a play. Saleha is torn between poetry or prose, but I think she'll settle on prose.

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