21 November 2010


   I  have felt choked lately: so  much to say, no place to say it. So much rising up in my throat that maybe should not be said, if only because the emphasis that blogging would give it is not useful. Partly this is because I am not at NCTE right now. I stopped looking at Twitter yesterday, cause I just feel left out, like I did in middle school. I am left out, but just accidentally: not that big a deal. There is always another conference, and it is not like I have nothing to fill my time. Another part of my frustration leads back to my isolation. I just taught The Allegory of the Cave to the seniors, and I feel that same confusion and pain when confronted with a new world...we want what we had,  and are afraid of losing the old in favor of the new. Can't forget what you know, though, so I  am back to what I can write...what I am finding exciting these days. How can I  use my altered sense of my purpose with the tools at hand? Does it really matter that I can't talk about new ideas with my colleagues? No, it doesn't change a thing about what I will do with my kids.
   Once again,  I find myself torn between the plans I have made for my classes, and the plans that arise when I let myself relinquish control to my students. It requires so much more time and confidence...but I am discovering that I cannot just do things the same ways I used to, when confronted with the power and purity of their ideas, their youth, their openness. So when I tossed off a quick extra credit blog entry about music, I did not think through what I would do with their responses.....and they gift me with a list of songs that speaks eloquently in its simplicity to their beliefs, hopes, ambitions and anxieties.  So I posted their self-created, self-creating playlist, and there must be a second chapter! It has to fit into something we're doing in class, so Macbeth it is. Could they compose a playlist for Macbeth? What would he play to get pumped to murder his friend and lord? What would Banquo's playlist sound like after that first meeting with the witches? I do not WANT to imagine Lady Macbeth's playlist once the murder is done.......Gotta go. Let's put their plan into place.
UPDATE: lesson plan for Macbeth's playlist
UPDATE: blog post with all the students' choices

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