This quarter in school, I am doing a unit with my AA (these are the advanced kids) 11th grade English class on JD Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. I have read this book upwards of five or six times since high school, and it has always been one of my favorite books.
It is so interesting to compare how I thought of it in high school, and how I interpret it teaching high school. I had always thought that Holden Caulfield was just a bratty teenager who was hilarious in his speaking habits and whose wit and voice made me giggle at each turn of the page. After teaching this to my students, they have begun to ask me questions that I have never even though about. Why is Holden so depressed? Why does he curse so much? Etc. It really made me think about the title of the book, and it also made me pick up on details of the novel that I have never noticed in my naïve reading of it. When I gave the lecture about themes, motifs, and the connection to JD Salinger’s lifetime, the parallels were not lost on the kids, and it made me feel great to teach something they had never heard before, but also that they were interested in, and made them feel as though they were looking in on someone’s eerie, private life. As we delve further and further into the book, the kids are more and more excited to read. A few of them are even ahead of schedule, which makes me feel great as a teacher. I am so happy they are enjoying a book that I was so fond of while growing up, and it’s an excellent way to teach students how to cope with their own coming-of-age experiences in a positive way.
A friend of mine posted this interpretation of Holden Caulfield on Facebook a few months ago, and it really hit home and pulled some of the stray threads of the novel together for me. I am really excited to show this piece of artwork with kids and see what they think about it.
Also, Nick and I started to watch the first season of Nip/Tuck last night, and we got through two and a half episodes.
The show is pretty good, but after having a nightmare that I got a boob job, I don’t think I’ll be watching anymore. It’s a really interesting show, but just not as captivating as I hoped it would be. If anyone has any suggestions about what we should try out instead, let me know!
It's so nice to look at my blog stats and see that I have been getting lots more page views and readers over the last few days! Thank you to all of you who take the time to read :) I hope that everyone who is interested in what I have to talk about in my little corner of the world will take the time to follow me by clicking the button at the top left of this column!! Thanks, everyone!!
I hope everyone is having a great Labor Day! xoxo