ELA 30: Oct 15 “We Have to Sit Opposite” – discussion of Canadian personalities…
- Students were reminded that the date to present their multi-media poetry analysis projects is on Thursday. They were asked to consider in advance how to access their file from the overhead projector cart in the classroom. I will try to have the cart set up in the classroom on Wednesday for students to try their files in advance to ensure they will work.
- We reviewed the topic of our last discussion for Micheal’s benefit since he was away. It was also an easy way to get back into the mindset of that discussion to continue with it today. We began reading a short story titled “We Have to Sit Opposite” that follows the travels of two prim and proper Canadian women who end up trapped in a railway cabin with an aggressive German man and his doting wife and obedience daughter. In order to understand the awkwardness of the situation narrated by the story, we set up desks at the front of the classroom and five students volunteered to read the parts of the characters. They did a pretty wonderful job and made the story much more interesting.
- Once we had finished, we read through the questions orally and discussed them. The lasting questions I wanted the students to consider were these:
- Is the idea of a meak, mild-mannered, and extremely pleasant Canadian a reality or simply an idea created and continued by Canadian literature?
- Does Canadian culture and personality exist without us pointint it out in literature and discussing it?
- Students were ultimately left with one question to consider for themselves and come to class next class with a reasoned answered. They were asked to consider it like the “chicken-egg” problem – which came first? The same can be asked of Canadian culture – did the culture exist before the literature or did the literature exist before the culture. They weren’t so sure of their responses. I am excited to hear what they have to say next class.