The Vertigo papers, papers on the topic of Hitchcock's film, have come in. So far, they are not so hot after all. I was going at it pretty hard, teaching that film, and learned some things from the discussion, but the papers did not turn out well. At least one pretty good student didn't turn in a paper at all. That disappoints me, and makes me feel I should change the assignment next semester. I will go back to one of my old assignments, since I have taught this film in the summer before. This time, the assignment itself asked the students to discuss a feminist topic, how one woman was substituted for another in the film, and what this might mean. Next time, I will ask them to focus on one motif in the film. That will force them to focus on the specifics of the film. This time, the papers are rather focusing on telling me about the characters, not the images in the film that would prove the assertions they are making. Though I discussed this in the drafts, they apparently couldn't pull it off, though they were fascinated with the movie and the idea that it was so complex it could open up in all these different ways.
So far, they are struggling with The Turn of the Screw. That is not unusual, but they are not reading it. That will be a problem next Thursday, when they have to write an essay in class about it.
Then the whole thing starts all over again with the new semester! AAAGGHHH!