Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Don Quixote is always the best project

If you sent over comments in Russian I have not approved them because I can't read them and I don't want my blog to turn into a forum for Russians to discuss hot chicks.

But I appreciate the comments from the supportive people and I'm flattered that you are interested in my boobs.

Last night Maggie solved my lack of groceries problem by feeding me her Thanksgiving leftovers, complete with hypercolor mashed potatoes that change from blue to purple when you microwave them but taste like regular old potatoes when you eat them. Utterly fascinating.

Today I'm showing House of Flying Daggers to my seniors. It's a world lit class so we're spending the whole semester on various forms of the hero's journey. They have projects. Each group must read a story and present it to the class along with a rough explanation of the history and the author associated with the piece and an explanation of how each story follows the hero's journey.

But they're having some difficulty grasping the concept even though I've been over it five thousand times.

Hence House of Flying Daggers. It's world lit because it's a Chinese story. But more importantly, it's an interesting take on the old Campbell monomyth. The hero in this case isn't trying to save the world - just win the heart of a girl. Still, in the process he goes through the same major points that all hero's journeys do, and at the end he is a changed man even though he was a pawn in the greater story of rebels versus the law.

It also makes me bawl my little eyeballs out. Let's see if it has the same effect on the kids.

The worry when showing a film that makes you cry around teenagers is that there's always some jackass in the room who chooses to laugh or make a joke at the climactic moment of the story. One year a kid laughed hysterically right when Juliet was about to kill herself and it completely destroyed the ending's effect for the rest of the class.

After I've shown the film maybe they'll be able to figure out what to do with their stories. Their choices are The Iliad, The Aeneid, Don Quixote, Oedipus, 1001 Nights, Faust, and The Song of Roland. I expect many awesome videos to keep me laughing two weeks from now.


  1. Anonymous5:12 PM

    Hi, Emily.
    If you was shoked "boobs comments" - don not think about. It just joke. We, russians loves flash-mob. :-)

  2. Hi Emily.

    What grade are you teaching? Did the kids have to read all those books that you mentioned? How well-off is the school? What I mean is that a poor inner city or a rich suburb?

    I admit I am one of those people who came here from that Russian blog but I am more interested in your school program rather than that other thing.

  3. I teach in the inner city. The kids are about as poor as you can get and it's gang territory. But they're great and I love them.

    I teach high school, mostly 11th and 12th which here is 15-18.

    Yep, they have to read those books. Whether they actually will or not remains to be seen. Some of them will. Some won't.


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