I am so excited! This is the first time that I have had the opportunity to participate in Mailbox Monday, hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page . Most of the books received this week came via Amazon, as I had to order them for the classes I will be taking this summer through Middlebury College’s, The Bread Loaf School of English. The program is designed to earn a Masters of Arts in 5 summers – taking 2 intensive classes during a 6 week session at one of 4 campuses: Middlebury, VT – Asheville, NC – Santa Fe, NM – and Oxford University in England. Last year was my first year and I went to Santa Fe and enrolled in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (studied in Middle English, no less) and British Victorian Narratives. It was a fascinating experience – but incredibly intense. It had been 26 years since I had been a student in a classroom and that was quite intimidating. I learned SO much valuable information, however – and I am very anxious to return this summer.
I will be taking one writing class and one literature class in Asheville this summer. The writing class is entitled: Rewriting a Life – Teaching Revision as a Life Skill. The course description reads:
Through daily reading, writing, and rewriting, we will examine the usefulness of Kenneth Burke’s rhetoric for writers and teachers of writing and literature, particularly his images of life as “a rough draft” and a “’project’ in composition” and his theory of writing and reading as acts of identification. We will read the following works in the following order. Works by Murray and Stafford will be used throughout the course and should be read in advance. Students will present drafts and final copies to the class each week and prepare a final course portfolio. For the first class, read and take notes for discussion on Ernest J. Gaines’s A Gathering of Old Men.
The list of books for this course are as follows:
- A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest Gaines
- What Narcissism Means to Me by Tony Hoagland
- The Story Behind the Story by Peter Turchi and Andrea Barrett
- In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien
- The Soul Thief by Charles Baxter
- Home by Marilynne Robinson
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
- Crafting a Life in Essay, Story and Poem by Donald Murray
- You Must Revise your Life by William Stafford
The literature class is a pedagogical course simply entitled, Teaching William Shakespeare. I feel as though this last course is designed specifically for me as two of the 4 plays we will study I currently teach. I am very anxious to learn some innovative ways to teach and engage students in Shakespeare’s works. The description for this class reads:
This course focuses on the pedagogy of teaching the works of William Shakespeare. The aim of this course is to work with teachers to develop methodological and interpretive approaches that are easily integrated into their syllabi. Students will be introduced to cultural, historical, aesthetic, and generic materials as part of the study of selected works. Issues to be explored include: how to read a Shakespeare script; Shakespeare’s themes—universal or parochial; film versus stage; and reading for the poetry and interpreting for the performance.
The specified editions for each of the 4 works are as follows:
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream (pelican)
- Macbeth (norton critical edition)
- Merchant of Venice (norton critical edition)
- The Tempest (norton critical edition)
It is strongly recommended that we try to read all books prior to our campus arrival on June 16. Quite a tall order, but I think it is doable. I brought all books with me to Branson and I hope to read at least 2-3 before returning home on Friday. I will let you know how I do.
In addition to these “required” readings, I also received my first signed book directly from the author as a result of this wonderful book blog community. Becky alerted me to the fact that Christopher Barzak was giving away his newest book, The Love We Share Without Knowing, to the first 10 who visited his webpage and left a comment. I happened to read Becky’s post at just the right time and was fortunate to make the top 1o cut off. I have brought this book to Branson with me as well in the hopes of reading and posting a review. I am very grateful to both Becky and Christopher Barzak for this opportunity.
Well, I have two bags worth of reading – and time is quickly passing. I have decided to read Yann Martel’s Life of Pi first, as it is the next high school book club selection which we will be discussing on April 6. Not sure which book I should tack after that. Any suggestions?