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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

My day at school

I going to try to go back to keeping a more or less daily journal of what goes on at the school where I teach, OK Centennial. I know it's late in the year, less than 4 weeks to go, but I need to get into the writing habit.
Today my juniors were introduced to Thornton Wilder's classic American play, Our Town. We in the English department don't get much of a chance to teach drama, it not being one of the items on the End of Instruction tests. So now that the tests are essentially over, I decided that my students needed to experience this view of everyday life, and death, in small town America. They reacted with some expected confusion. The play has little action to it and much talk. They have been conditioned by various media and entertainment to expect the opposite. I think, though, they are at least interested in what is going on with the characters, especially George and Emily, the two youngters who fall in love, enough to carry them through till I can guide them to see the play's timeless themes. We'll see.
My seniors are experiencing Frankenstein starting with the excellent movie starring Robert DeNiro as the creature and Kenneth Branagh as Victor Frankenstein. This flim is a much more easy "sell" since it contains a lot of action and not a little gore. The issues that the book on which the movie is based concerning scientific progress and personal responsibility are with us yet.
On a personal front, I'm reading a couple of good books dealing with completely different subjects: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer and The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan. I'm enjoying both for very different reasons.

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