Saturday, July 08, 2017

On seeing students

Last night we went to see Despicable Me 3 in town.  I didn't realize it until I Googled the time for the early show that Spiderman: Homecoming was also in town.

I didn't really think much of this until we pulled into the Falls Cinema parking lot at 6:50 for the 7:00 show.  As we got out and started toward the doors, we saw a line of people about fifteen years outside the door still waiting to get in.

I hadn't seen a line like that since I was about Kenzie's age and Lance and I went with his mother and aunt to see Return of the Jedi and the line was almost out to highway 59.

As we waited, I saw two former students of mine, Steven and Caleb.  Since we waited in line close to 20 minutes (they paused the previews to accommodate the back up), I began visiting with Steven and Caleb who were just in front of us.

Steven, who took College Comp II from me first semester, asked if I knew that Christopher Nolan had a new movie coming out.

I told him that I'd seen the previews for Nolan's new film, Dunkirk.  I also said that I doubted if it would have the plot twists of three of his most iconic films: Memento, The Prestige, Inception, and Interstellar.

I asked Caleb (who only had College Comp I from me) if he had seen Inception, which is notorious in my College Comp II class for the analysis we write on it and the debates that rage every time: does the top really fall over or not?

Of course, Caleb, like most people who see Inception just once, thought that the top just fell over and that was it.

However, Steven and I quickly began asking him questions and we suddenly saw his eyes widen as the new aspects of the film's complexity and deeper meaning began to take hold in his mind.

Then Steven chuckled and said something I will never forget, "I guess that's the mark of an effective teacher when you are still talking about something that happened in class during the summer."

Thank you, Steven.  That made my day!

But he should have said, "That's the mark of an effective class" instead of just teacher because the discussions would go no where if I didn't have the response from the students.  Nor would I even have the same ideas and theories that I do since I stole from past students, namely Alyce and Alex, who took over class and had a full 85 minute discussion on their theory for Inception!

One of my favorite questions is "Would you want to be a learner in your classroom?"

My answer is simple, "I am."

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