Saturday, May 22, 2010

Three Beautiful Things 05/19-21/10: Teach My Ass Off, LCC Reading, Paradise Now

1. I remember our Kellogg High School band teacher, Mr. Exum, told us a story once about a renown music combo that played in Coeur d'Alene, I think at the Athletic Round Table. A blizzard struck. Hardly anyone came to the concert. Mr. Exum attended. This combo played their asses off for the very small crowd and Mr. Exum told us that it didn't matter if we were playing for a handful of people or for a sold out crowd in Carnegie Hall (the Kellogg band never got this gig), we were to play our hearts out.

Six students showed up for my WR 122 class on Thursday. For about ten minutes or so, only five were in attendance. I could sense the students in attendance wondered what I was going to do.

I remembered Mr. Exum. My words to my students, "Let's get going. I'm going to teach my ass off for you."

And I did.

2. Elizabeth Woody, Laura Lynn Drummond, or Paul Calandrino never heard Mr. Exum's lecture on giving it your all no matter what the size of the audience. These three superb writers gave a reading at Lane Community College yesterday afternoon and the turn out was, well, dismal, in my opinion. Nonetheless, Woody, Drummond, and Calandrino read as if they had packed Carnegie Hall: I loved their work, their energy, and their generosity.

3. I'm very happy I decided that my World Literature students would write either in the classroom or at home after viewing the movie "Paradise Now". Its power left me speechless and incapable of discussing it afterward. I can almost never talk about a movie right after I see it. It's probably why I watch so many movies alone.

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