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weensicka
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Icon 8 posted December 04, 2002 20:37      Profile for weensicka   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Insert your favorite expletive after that...

I am teaching for the first time at a community college this semester. I've taught freshman composition for over two years at a reasonably accredited university and I thought I was prepared for anything. But oh, no...

My dilemma: I teach Douglas Adams' _Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_ at the end of every course because A) it's funny and B) it's a little more light reading right around finals, instead of launching into say, _War and Peace_ or something. I mean, I recognize that as a gen ed requirement professor, my students are not likely to leap for joy if I assign something complicated so usually, they receive _The Guide_ very well and at least they don't burn my portrait in effigy around exam time.

At this community college, however, they hate the book. How in the hell is that possible? And they don't think it's funny--they think it's very dense and challenging. I try to discuss the book in class and they just blink and ask me to explain the humor. Explain the humor?!! It's Douglas Adams. It's _The Guide_. It just *is* funny.

Anyway, that's my rant. I had to share with somebody or I was going to have to tear out my hair and join a convent instead of schlepping to those classrooms for another week.

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Is there any tea on this spaceship?

Posts: 182 | From: oh, just somewhere random | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Charisma
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Icon 1 posted December 04, 2002 22:17      Profile for Charisma   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, I've never read The Guide, but I've heard that it's amusing. Maybe the problem is that these kids are not taking the book at face value and are looking for a deeper meaning. Who knows.

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http://www.basseq.com

Posts: 404 | From: right behind you; in the shadows | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
stella
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Icon 1 posted December 05, 2002 00:26      Profile for stella   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
it's also possible that they freak out just because there are long words in there and no pictures. [Frown]

I've often recommended IMO hilarious books (Terry Pratchett!!) to people who then are determined to view them in a particular way because they are considered *fantasy*. They same might happen to Douglas Adams: it's SF so it must be weird/crap/trash.

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I did not design this game, I did not name the stakes, I just happen to like apples and I'm not afraid of snakes.
(Ani di Franco)

Posts: 13 | From: amsterdam | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
sosumi
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Icon 1 posted December 05, 2002 09:06      Profile for sosumi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
reminds me of while in college I overheard two poofy haired girls going on about how they didn't get "even cowgirls get the blues", enough of a recommendation for me to go right to the bookstore after class and buy it. [Wink]
but truly, how sad.

streamed BBC Hitchiker's Guide episodes here

Posts: 845 | From: Boston | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
GMx

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Icon 3 posted December 05, 2002 15:56      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Start the semester with John Barth's Dead Father or Donald Barthleme's The Crying Of Lot 49 and that should weed out the idiots. Of course, it may weed out all your students. [Wink]
Posts: 5855 | From: S-4, Area 51 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
weensicka
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Icon 1 posted December 05, 2002 21:46      Profile for weensicka   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by GMx:
Start the semester with John Barth's Dead Father or Donald Barthleme's The Crying Of Lot 49 and that should weed out the idiots. Of course, it may weed out all your students. [Wink]

That would save me so much grading though. [Wink] But I thought Pynchon wrote The Crying of Lot 49 . Vineland would be a good text along the same vein, for weeding purposes. Thanks!
Posts: 182 | From: oh, just somewhere random | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
weensicka
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Icon 1 posted December 05, 2002 21:49      Profile for weensicka   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by GMx:
Start the semester with John Barth's Dead Father or Donald Barthleme's The Crying Of Lot 49 and that should weed out the idiots. Of course, it may weed out all your students. [Wink]

That would save me so much grading though. [Wink] But I thought Pynchon wrote The Crying of Lot 49 . Vineland would be a good text along the same vein, for weeding purposes. Thanks!
Posts: 182 | From: oh, just somewhere random | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
nekomatic
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Icon 12 posted December 06, 2002 01:27      Profile for nekomatic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Save yourself these choosing dilemmas, start the semester with V... you won't be able to fit anything else in!
Posts: 822 | From: Manchester, UK | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged
spungo
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Icon 1 posted December 06, 2002 01:49      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by weensicka:
..But I thought Pynchon wrote The Crying of Lot 49 . Vineland would be a good text along the same vein, for weeding purposes. Thanks!

And indeed he did... probably his only readable book. ( *I now await death by conflagration*)

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Shameless plug. (Please forgive me.)

Posts: 6530 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
GMx

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Icon 1 posted December 06, 2002 03:41      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I realized my mistake. [blush] Now, I can't think of which Barthleme book I was thinking of. [Confused]
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spungo
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Icon 1 posted December 06, 2002 04:56      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You a John Barth fan, GMx? I've read a few of his... Sot-Weed Factor, Floating Opera, Sabbatical... quite interesting stuff - though few people seemed to have heard of him. I couldn't get through Giles, Goat-boy or whatever it was called... it made my arse twitch. I ended up leaving it half-read in a Youth Hostel in Cornwall about ten years ago... some poor bugger must have picked it up by now...
Posts: 6530 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
GMx

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Icon 9 posted December 06, 2002 11:27      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Whew! maybe I should go back to school. I got my authors majorly mixed up. Donald Barthelme wrote Dead Father , John Barth wrote Lost In The Funhouse. It had been so long since I read those books, I got mixed up because their names were similar. [Frown] Think I'm going to dig them out and read them again. [Wink]
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Minsc
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Icon 1 posted December 06, 2002 12:49      Profile for Minsc     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think the underlying cause is that you are dealing with COMMUNITY-COLLEGE level students. Probably fairly er... challenged mentally and generally lacking in imagination. That was my take on my peers there before transferring to a real university.
Posts: 419 | From: at home or work | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged


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