Happy Friday. Hope yours is going well. I can’t be with you today because I’m teaching my seniors at BSU. Before I get to the assignment for today’s class, let me say that I was really delighted with your work on Wednesday. We got through all but two introductions. I was so impressed with your willingness to tell your own stories in your own words. You did good work. I look forward to finishing up on Monday and to starting our first formal assignment.
To start that work, I would like to give you a short piece of reading. I’m attaching it to this email/blog post. I’m also giving it to Mr. Saurette and I’m also posting it on our class website (leetorda.com) in our class blog. It’s very short. It’ a beautiful piece of writing from The New Yorker magazine called “Alone at the Movies.”
AS YOU READ: Pay attention to what going to this particular movie meant to the author, Johnathan Lethem. Why did he go to see Star Wars the various times that he went to the movies? If you can answer this, you sort of know what the thesis of this short essay is. Write about this on your own for two or three minutes once you are done reading.
IN GROUPS OF THREE OR FOUR: Talk about your answer to the above question. When you are ready, post 100-200 words on our class blog on my website. Only one answer per group. While you are there posting, make sure to read some of your classmates responses.
ONCE YOU ARE DONE WITH THAT, POST AGAIN, AS A GROUP: This time, identify all the things we learn about Lethem’s memory of seeing the movie—both alone and with his mother. This is the detail, the evidence, that makes you believe what Lethem is saying. You can post this as a paragraph or a short list, whatever works for you and your group mates. And, again, while you are posting, make sure to read what some of your classmates wrote.
FINALLY: Write this next thing on your own, either on your computer or on paper that you can later type up on a computer: Write about a movie memory you have. Who was there? Why was seeing that movie at that moment important to you? What was the movie (of course). It’s no big deal. Just a short piece of writing. You can email it to me at email@example.com.