Teaching Week 8

Some new developments this week in LiveJournal. Second years came up with the idea of conducting a debate on some hot contemporary issue. The subject was New Orleans…. how such a wealthy nation could fail to know how to respond adequately to its own people. This topic is something that will relate centrally to Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. It will also relate to David Malouf’s Conversations at Curlow Creek. So here is a wonderful way to get first and second years to debate a hot topic in the open lines of a LiveJournal Community: Discussion & Debates Community. We will then transfer this debate across to the WebCT Discussion forum where the debate will focus in on each of the two books mentioned above. Both classes will then complete this debate by having a public debate during a lecture time…. let’s hope that it all works out and that we learn something in the process. Thank you to all of you who are helping in this process. If you know of someone in your group who does not yet know how to get into a community then please give them a leg up! The poetry competition in the poetry community is also moving along at a rocketing pace… well done to all the contributors!
In 20th Century LIterature we began this week our excursion into Absurdist Theatre: this week Beckett and Pinter. Our text book from last year (Understanding Literature) is an invaluable resource here, with a wonderful chapter on the roots of Absurdism… there are some great web links in the Understanding Literature web site as well.
In Australian Literature we are tackling one of the hardest reads so far. David Malouf is demanding, but incredibly rewarding once you find your way into his mindset. This can only be done after a second read of this novel… so get your skates on! I look forward to getting a sheaf full of great questions from all first years… David thrives on questions.
Over and out
MG

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