Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Three Beautiful Things 05/20/08: Weeping Camel, Prying?, Sky of Stone

1. I'll find out when we meet again on Thursday what my students thought of it: I showed the documentary film "The Story of the Weeping Camel", a magnificent Mongolian story about a nomadic family on the Gobi Desert and their efforts to reunite a mother camel and her colt whom she has rejected. It's a luxuriously slow movie, giving us a full experience with the rhythms of nomadic life and with the strength patience requires.

2. Maybe I pry too much. I become deeply interested in my students, especially, I think, my composition students because their writing is so much more personal. Last night I learned more about one student's unsettling ultrasound results of her current pregnancy, about another student's pastor father, why another student moved to Oregon a few years after his father died, how another student's mother has been in ICU and in and out of hospital care since suffering gall bladder trouble, and there's more. I hope if my interest and care passes the boundaries of privacy, my students will let me know.

3. This evening, my WR 122 class began our discussion of Sky of Stone, and I was very pleased with how my students recognized the way Coalwood, West Virginia, supposedly a idyllic company town, was, in reality, a town curbing freedom, one where not only the mine, but the citizens, were owned by the mining company.

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