Monday, July 7, 2008
I am currently re-reading 1984 for a course I am teaching in the Fall. It reminded me of how frequently we come across allusions in our daily lives. The idea of "Big Brother" has been a reference in movies, tv shows, and intimate conversations between friends. Before I read the novel for the first time, I had only a hazy idea of what the reference meant. After my first reading of the classic novel, the reference made SO much more sense! Now, when I hear the reference, I think of all the people who may not understand and who may feel "out of the loop" when hearing that particular allusion. It is a point that I will continue to make when teaching my students about life-long learning. The more we read, the more connections to every day life we make. In the movie Shall We Dance, a character says, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." I show that clip to my students before we begin reading Emerson and Thoreau. Later, many students come to class with stories of hearing Emerson or Thoreau quoted elsewhere. It is almost like a puzzle of which they continue to find pieces. I love to see their learning continue and to see their enthusiasm for it.