Brain Pickings: Week in Review

           Friday Dialogue from                

                                      Your Two Favorite Educators 

As Emily and Aubrey look back over the week they use their razor sharp wit discuss the need to supplement student reading and Lohan, Madonna and Costner.  Oh my!


1.  What type of reading would like your students to be able to do?  You cannot answer, “Any kind of reading would be nice seeing as how it’s February and nobody seems to reading.”

What does Emily say?Emily:  I think the most important thing is for them to be able to think while reading.  I think it is imperative they are able to read material that relates to their life and be able to make sense of it.  Realistically, in 10 years only a small percentage of our students will be reading the classics.  So they need to be able to read common, every day material but be able to see the larger importance of it, not merely dismiss it as something simple and therefore insignificant.

Aubrey: I would really like them to read complex and well written texts thatIs Aubrey right? interest and challenge.  I worry that often we want them to read only “great” literature.  Great literature has to be the anchor.  I want to teach future engineers who want to read Popular Science.  IT professionals who read WIRED and doctors who read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  Asking them to read meaningful texts should require us to redefine meaningful.  

2.  Why is it so important to supplement classroom lesson plans with a variety of texts?

What does Emily say?Emily:  This is important because so many students cannot identify with the canonical texts we are required or choose to teach them.  And, realistically, these aren’t the pieces that students will choose to read on their own.  Supplementing the works allows students to see that reading takes place in a variety of arenas and helps them to find genres or types of  literature that is of interest to them.

Aubrey: They do need to understand that everything, regardless of format, requires an implicit reading.  Blogs, videos and “unconventional” texts often get them to rethink.  They require them to stretch their understanding.  

3.  If everything is an argument, what argument is made by any or all of the following: Lindsay Lohan hosting Saturday Night Live in March, Madonna’s new single “Give Me All Your Luvin” wherein she calls herself a “girl,” or Kevin Costner at Whitney Houston’s funeral.

Emily:  I think one idea that links all of them is the pursuit of seeking attention and fame at all costs, even if that means losing respect for yourself.  Can Lohan really survive a “live” taping of a show?  That new Madonna song is toxic.  And Costner’s 4-hour speech was a really just a display of his vanity.

Aubrey:  I would go so far as to call all of it vulgar.  Lohan shouldn’t be in theIs Aubrey right? public eye.  Madonna hasn’t been a girl since 1968.  Kevin Costner is a blowhard.  I long for something interesting to capture public interest.  But I worry that might include something about Rhianna and Chris Brown.  That I don’t think I can stand. Let February before over quickly so we can move more compelling news.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *