I have spent the majority of the past three days trying to gather all my paperwork in order so that if I need a substitute this week before spring break, then he/she can easily slip into the role. This is all such a surreal experience.
I am normally not much of a movie goer. I'm not sure why - although I think it started when the cost of going to the movies rivaled the price of a nice dinner at a fine restaurant. But somehow that evolved into not watching movies ever - not on DVD nor television. So I found it rather surprising that I had a desire to see not one but two movies over this past week: The King's Speech and Black Swan.
I had seen The King's Speech in the spring when my daughter invited me to attend a preview. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie at that time and I was anxious to see how much had been edited for the final release. Not only is the story an encouraging one of overcoming life's obstacles, but the on-screen chemistry between Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush is delightful.
I have so thoroughly enjoyed these movie experiences that I ordered two other award nominated films through Netflix, The Social Network and Inception, and I hope to watch them in the comfort on my own home next weekend.
Teaching 1 - Film Scripts:
Last week Belle posted a link on facebook which provides the PDF files of the top ten nominated movies. I immediately checked out the site and began to brainstorm ways in which to use this as part of a lesson plan.
Teaching 2 - Literary Merit:
I am going to begin literary circles in my English 1 class after Spring break. One focus of this year's experiment is to ask students to discuss the literary merit of each of the books that they choose to read. As an introduction to this unit study I asked students to research literary merit for homework and come to school prepared to develop a class definition. Some students chose to jot down their own thoughts (not exactly what I had requested, but at least they spent a few minutes thinking about it), some chose to look up the words "literary" and "merit" in the dictionary and then develop their own compound word definition; and some actually chose to google search the term. Imagine my surprise - and the surprise of my students - when that search led them to my blog! In fact, I believe that my humble blog was about the fourth suggested website for that topic.
When I asked the students if they actually read the entry, one student replied, 'Yea - it was about a bookstore" Well, this is true - but had the student read further she would have discovered that I actually outlined six points that I believe are a part of this broad concept.
So this was a lesson for me as well as the students. Students learned that sometimes you have to read more than the first paragraph to discover the desired information; and I learned that perhaps there are more than just a few casual friends who read what I write. That is quite a sobering thought!
So perhaps I owe it to myself - and the google crowd - to update my post on literary merit to include a more in-depth discussion of that particular term. In an effort to perhaps be a bit more inclusive, I would like to ask you today: How would YOU define literary merit?
As you can probably guess, reading has once again taken a backseat. I have but one more chapter and I will have completed Joan Anderson's The Second Journey. I do hope to write a short review of that book on my blog when I finish. It has been a good book for me to read during this difficult time dealing with Mom.
I have also read the first six chapters of Jane Eyre. While I do not think I will finish this classic prior to the March 11th movie premier, I am hopeful to finish it during spring break so that I can take advantage of those days off to see a matinee performance.
Spring 2011 Read-a-thon, and I am hopeful that the timing of this semi-annual event, the weekend of April 9, will correspond with a much anticipated rekindling of my reading passion. I know that I have plenty of material in house to participate --- it is just a matter of academic scheduling as well as personal interest.
Are any of you planning to participate in this fun, literary event?
While I would not be truthful if I said I was looking forward to this week, I am certain that by God's grace I will find the joy in the difficulties. I hope that you have a good week, however, and that the promise of Spring's rebirth is evident in your neck of the woods.