Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What I thought I taught you

I posted the following to an academics' group yesterday, in a thread for teaching success stories:

I taught a small seminar in the writing department this semester – first time I’ve taught outside my Honors home. It was a version of a class I pioneered in an Honors seminar, on writing pop culture criticism. Today I read the students’ finals, where they wrote about what they learned about pop culture, about themselves as consumers of media, about themselves as writers, and about criticism. I was never sure throughout the class, but thanks to comments like these, I know: they got it.

“I saw then that being a critic was more than just saying ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down.’ It is about understanding who we are, who we want to be, how culture changes, how it molds us, and so much more.”

“I can’t ever, ever afford to shut my eyes, or I’ll be like those people who say they like everything except rap and country. Gotta keep delving. (By the way, I prefer East Coast to West Coast hip-hop and Outlaw Country to Pop-Country. There is beauty EVERYWHERE, if you look for it.)”

“I didn’t just learn how to write like a critic. I learned about who I was as a critic. ”

Our little band finished the year strong, I must say. If you'd like to read their final reflections on the class, as well as the entries they wrote on subjects from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg to Diary Of A Mad Black Woman, from Nirvana to the Weather Channel, I encourage you to follow the links below:

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