Friday, November 7


starting this week I've had my students doing reading presentations with selections from our textbook Convergences (it's an old book, but look, it does have one of those publisher-sponsored companion websites--full of dead or dying links).

I had each student choose a piece to practice and measure and then read aloud to our class. it's my way of forcing them to 1. actually pay some attention to that textbook they paid a non-insignificant chunk of money for and 2. think about literacy and reading from a more auditory and external perspective, not just a visual/mental/internal one. will it work? so far nobody has complained too terribly much.

our first two presentations were on Thursday.

one student began with this piece by David Brooks.

thought-provoking. guilt-inducing.

next, his fellow student abridged Matt Snyders' write-up of one week at the Mall of America and threw up a little powerpoint to go along with the story.

we cringed. we laughed.

presentations next week will include excerpts from Richard Rodriguez's "Gangstas." there might be costumes.

it's an old textbook, compiled of articles that exist in many other media incarnations--books, articles, photography collections, poems, comics, reviews. seeing how the students abridge and adapt these pieces for a potentially very bored audience is going to be very fun.

if my class didn't already hear too much from me every day of the week, I'd be tempted to read something to them as well, to join in the project. something from David Eagleman's Sum, perhaps. or one of Oscar Wilde's fairy tales.

our adaptations in class are pretty simple. but they're leading into our last unit on media, where we might have room for talking about re-mediation of all kinds. book-to-film-to-comic-to-stage-to-radio-to-thesis-to-interpretive-dance and everything.

maybe I will show them some of these, from the marvelous and very sweet-seeming Yulin Kuang, one of the brains behind Shipwrecked Comedy.

isn't that lovely? all of it--the voice, the light, the wide outdoors and cozy twosome?


postscript 1:
in my poking around after details on Marina Keegan the other month
, I came across this rather fantastic channel featuring the Yale spoken-word-poetry group. does Purdue have an organization like this? should we start one? eh, friend Priya?

postscript 2:
and did I ever mention The Moth? someday I'll perform a story for The Moth. but which one?  

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