Saturday, January 29, 2011

Discipline

Everyone worries, especially in the wee hours of the morning, when sleep deserts her and leaves her beached like a spent salmon on the bank. But I particularly must try to control this natural process since the worries tend to get away from me and proliferate. Before I know it, I am lost in a jungle of insurmountable size and darkness. Anxiety makes me way too creative an artist of worry. Would that I could make poems as readily.
Last night particularly, after the good news of the class I will teach this summer, I began to think about my curriculum, and it all too quickly whirled into a storm of panic. I have to come up with two classes during the 5 weeks between semesters, at the end of May.
One of these classes will be an 8 week summer section of composition, something usually rather simple to arrange. I begin with a theme, such as transformation (last year's theme) or revenge and choose a film and two literary works, generally quite short. The first one can be a poem or short story. The third is classic, and I choose a couple of secondary sources to go with it, so the students can learn MLA citation and works cited.
I was thinking I'd like to use the film The Secret of Roan Inish, about a girl who sees a selkie on an island in Ireland transform into a woman. I would need two other works to go with it, works about secrets or ones in which the protagonist is a child. I thought about What Maisie Knew, for it fits on both counts. That could be the third work. I just need the first work, and I'm all set.
Then there's the rhetoric class. I wanted to make it about the uses and dangers of stories so there would be lots of potential research topics (fairy tales' effects, video game and violent tv/film's effects, the uses of narrative as therapy and catharsis and to explain complex theories and ideas), but I need two works (one can be a film) that raise and explore this subject. I think I have a short literary work, something new I read this past year, but I need a film or another literary work. Any ideas?
I don't want to obsess over this. Help me out.

2 comments:

marly said...

Hmm. Intereting question. Shall think, if I still can!

Robbi said...

Of course, I shall use Bettleheim, The Uses of Enchantment too!