jueves, febrero 15, 2007

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

Since last we posted, many, many things have happened. We're not necessarily ready to go into all the details here and now, but we do want to assure our friends and fellows that we're still kicking.

L* is now teaching a unit on hate speech in her class.

I'm trying to write a poem a week. In two of my classes, I'm currently teaching Beloved and Dawn, and its all starting to blur together in my head. With science fiction, i try to push my students in the "what would you do in her situation" direction.

Oh, Monday, you know, is the day of Remembrance for the internment of Japanese Americans. I use a unit from an old multicultural lit anthology which tells the students to imagine that they're government has just ordered them and their families to report for immediate relocation. (That is--the book I use has some really good material--poetry, photographs, fiction, memoir, government documents--but also includes really stupid "discussion questions.")

I actually tried to use this as a writing prompt back in the day when I was teaching al lit course. Many of my students were young Anglo men. The asserted that they would resist, even unto death. That is, that they would go down fighting. (and take as many as they could with them)

A similar thing happened recently in class discussion of Dawn, where several female students said that if they found themselves in Lilith's situation (captured by aliens who have "saved" humanity only to hybridize it through gene mixing) "I guess I would kill myself" one student after another said. (Actually that happened a little bit last semester, too, when I was teaching Parable of the Sower. Students said that, when confronted with a "hopeless" situation, they would kill themselves. (rather than trying to make a way out of no way). I'm both disheartened and amused. Disheartened that the young people--our hope--are so afraid and hopeless they would rather die than change. Amused because it seems to show how young they are still.

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