Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hambone Redux/Let's Move On

okay, so i totally feel the need to somehow put yesterday's events in perspective. after reading the slew of comments on "hambone" (two. i received two comments), i feel the need to point out that the brer rabbit incident really wasn't an issue. i simply like to be fastidious about possibly coonish moments. for example, shmoe-digga, monica and i tend to look down upon those who eat chicken (prepared in any manner) in public. we also disallow ourselves from eating or drinking any sort of watermelon product in public. see? it really is quite ridiculous. anyway, my kids (my freshmen) are sophisticated enough to understand context and know that dialect is not indicative of any sort of deficiency in intelligence. today's discussion of american culture (that of individuality and me, me, me) and the reception of american culture by outsiders proved to me that they get it, especially when some poor kid got checked for framing a comment about the immigration issue in a less than cultivated manner. these kids really are sharp, man. fifth period, especially, really makes me happy that some people chose to procreate. after identifying archetypes that commonly appear in american media and tradition, they were still able to understand that these archetypes are not the apotheosis of culturally transmitted images. they, in all their 14 year-old glory, understood and expressed (nearly unprompted) that culture, belief and experience are pretty relative and that there is not necessarily a right or wrong. one kid even knew who ed gein was; we enjoyed a delightful aside about sexually-repressed serial killers and their place in the horror movie canon. yay! (not yea, monica, yay).
to move on, i'm still stressed everyday. this teaching stuff is hard and crap. how am i supposed to teach someone how to write? i can teach them mechanics--annoy them when they splice commas and bloody their papers when they use personal pronouns in formal papers, but i can't teach them style. looking over their first thesis papers, i'm surprised some of them can speak. stuff like, "i think the theme of this book is that people are really nice and then something bad happens and then they are not nice anymore" doesn't cut it. i need a theme, sweetie--an identifiable thread that you found throughout the book and can support. i cares not whether you thought one of the characters was really pretty (how can you see them anyway?). i guess they really are 14.
in other news, i want some ribs.

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