Book Club

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Rosiebud, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    How are you all getting on with Teachers??

    I'm labouring myself, cant get into it, it's maybe just me and not the book, just come out of a week long flare and still a bit 'heavy in the head'.

    Will try to get to grips with it.

  2. mollystwin

    mollystwin New Member

    I was in a flare last week when I started reading it and had a hard time getting into it as well. The format was difficult at first, but now I'm liking it.

    The book is a bit scattered. I don't remember the other books being as much that way. I read them a long time ago when I was healthier. But I am enjoying it. I love his student stories. I wonder if Ken had any students like Teacher Man did?

  3. sisland

    sisland New Member

    Having a hard time holding my attenetion!,,,S
  4. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    an English teacher, and he doesn't use quote marks?!

    Something "wrong" there "somewhere"!

  5. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    its not just me but I'll persevere and hopefully enjoy it. You know, I didn't even notice there were no quotes, maybe thats what's thrown me off.

  6. mollystwin

    mollystwin New Member

    I didn't notice the missing quotes at first either! No wonder I was so "confused".

  7. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    I'm doing what I do with a lot of books: reading just a chapter a day.

    For me, the book is a pleasure. I had many, many students like his, and I, too, had a tendency to digress in the classroom, instead of always sticking to the lesson plan. In fact, I always hated lesson plans. So if McCourt has a tendency to ramble in the book, maybe it's a reflection of his teaching style!

    You do sort of have to get used to McCourt's style. Knowing that he doesn't use quotation marks for dialogue helps. It also helps to imagine him telling his stories in a rich, Irish brogue. It's not quite stream-of-consciousness, but you sort of have to go where McCourt takes you.

    Just think: we could be reading a book by another Irishman, James Joyce's Ulysses--a book so challenging in its stream-of-consciousness, obscure references, and playful language that it would probably drive all of us bonkers!

    [This Message was Edited on 07/12/2007]
  8. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    I'm taking it a bit at a time Ken. I like his style of teaching, shows he cares and when I was at school we could always tell the teachers who actually cared.

    I know teaching is a whole different ballgame these days, what were the kids like at your school Ken??

  9. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    I taught at a college prep school for Navajo students for nine years, and up until I became disabled, at a private school here in New Mexico. But I also taught GED classes and classes for adults at a community college.

    I guess you could say that I had a wide mix of students. Some were just like the students that McCourt describes: funny, lively, not always interested in learning and willing to try anything they could to get me off track. This happened to me especially in my first year of teaching. I had to learn to become very creative in the classroom.

    Some of my students went into the military after college. Some went to local colleges, and a few both Navajo and my "Anglo" students, went to elite colleges such as Dartmouth, Princeton, or Stanford. A number of the girls got pregnant after high school and had to drop out of college or scramble to get their degrees.

    Teaching at the Navajo school was the most interesting experience for me. The kids definitely looked at me as an "outsider" during my first semester, but I found that once I learned to speak a bit of Navajo, and the longer I was there, the more they accepted me. By the time I left nine years later, the school was like family.

    They could be arrogant, obnoxious, ignorant, and unmotivated (in short, average teenagers), but they could also be incredible. I was lucky to work with them for almost a decade.

    Maybe in the Teacher Man post at the end of the month, I'll think of some stories to tell about my students.
  10. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Speaking of teachers, I had a phone call today. Our 50th H.S. reunion will be next Aug. in Harmony, MN.

    Things were a little different when I went to High School. We had 44 in our class. The worst disipline problem was somebody would toss a paper airplane.

    No one played hookey. You couldn't. Someone would see you and say, "Aren't you Bruce Harstad's boy? Why aren't you in school?"

    Drugs, guns, booze, violence; none of these in our school.
    And everyone could read and everyone graduated. The whole time I was in high school only two girls got pregnant. They both got married and graduated.

    And our teachers were good to excellent. Here in Los Angeles half the teachers don't have credentials and they spend a great deal of time and energy striking for more money which they allege will someone improve the education system.

    The L.A. Board of Education members are driven in limos to board meetings. Then they have a catered lunch which costs $100 @. They are currently building Belmont High School estimated to cost $400,000,000 on the contaiminated site of an old oil field.

    The students will be lucky if they don't glow in the dark. I wonder what memories they will have.


  11. mollystwin

    mollystwin New Member

    There was drugs and violence and I didn't like having to go to the bathroom because of all the "cool" kids smoking. It was the 70's. Even though I smoked then to be cool, I was afraid of all the upper classman who would glare at me if I had to go in there.

    Then we moved and switched schools in 11th grade. I was so releived to be out of there, but the new school was no better. Different but not better. We made a few good friends, but nothing like the number of friends we had at the old neighborhood. We had our driver's license then though, so we still hung out with our old friends. I was so insecure in high school. I'm a much happier person now.

    I just read in the paper that our class is having it's 30 year reunion. No way would I be interested in going to that! Molly and I did attend our 25th reunion for the old school and that was fun. But I don't need to see any of those people again!!
    [This Message was Edited on 07/13/2007]