Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Continued from Previous Post (How Could it Not Be?)

The most common choice was Truth 100, because that supposedly contains all the others. I selected Body 100 for the same reason. The idea is, or will be this time tomorrow, officially an option for the next piece of writing to be graded.

Today I read the summary, prepared by Anonymous, of my teaching evaluations from the fall term. I go straight to the comments, which cover the range from pos to neg. The more negative ones still give me pause, reminding me that my professorial ways don't work for everyone.

I still learn from my own classroom. This morning some talk about Christopher Dewdney's "Ten Typically Geological Suicides" lead to new ways of thinking about the poem, for me, and new ways of thinking about any poem, for my English 100 students, who at first wondered why someone would write a poem like that--a playfully serious piece, as I see it--and what makes a list of ten perfectly effective, if wildly impractical, ways to commit suicide a poem. (Ways like standing naked over a geyser, just before it erupts, or consuming a lethal dosage of beach sand.)

Then on to Ondaatje's "Sweet Like a Crow," another list, comparing a young girl to a rusty bible, among other things. Just seeing rusty next to bible is enough for me. Just that pairing of words opens the world a tad more. I hope my students would agree.

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