Saturday, October 17, 2009

Misc. Items

I want to write about a variety of book related topics that have occurred to me this week, but I feel I must begin with the title of this post. I wrote "Misc." on the chalkboard at school this week and more than one student asked me what it meant. I explained that it was an abbreviation for miscellaneous and I was asked twice why I didn't bother spelling that word out. That struck me as highly ironic since so many of my students write in such a way that I can tell they are of the texting generation. Their papers are filled with "&," "b/c," "w/" and "LOL." Yes, "LOL" on an essay. I spoke with another teacher who told me to brace myself for the emoticons that are sure to come, as in "It was sad when Romeo and Juliet died at the end of the play :(" I didn't see that when I was last teaching high school students almost ten years ago.

On a positive note, this week I had one of my best book conversations in the classroom ever. I was discussing Benjamin Franklin's autobiography and his "Speech in the Convention." I asked the kids what they think he valued based on their reading and was met with blank stares. Someone said he might have valued the Philadelphia Eagles because (b/c?) he lived in Philly. After we went over the fact that football was not played in the colonies nor was there an NFL, I asked if it had been played then, what position did they think old Ben would have played based on what they read by him. They warmed to the topic so quickly. I then asked if he was dropped into our society today, what sport would he enjoy the most based on what they read. The answers were brilliant and I left work happy that day.

Speaking of leaving work, I have something to listen to now on my drive home. A friend just lent me the audio book of Spencer Quinn's Dog On It, I've been told that it's a humorous whodunit with a canine narrator. Chet the dog and his owner, a down on his luck private investigator, solve a crime and have some adventures in this story that I have been assured I will enjoy greatly. While I'm in no hurry for Monday to get here, I am less cranky about my long commute now that I've got Dog On It to look forward to.

1 comment:

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Maybe they wanted to know how to spell miscellaneous but were too embarrassed to ask?

Let us know how "Dog On It" turns out, dad gone it.