We’re only a couple of weeks into the school year and I’m already losing students.
Here’s the first real assignment in my Film and Lit. class:
Your homework for the weekend is twofold. Please read this entire assignment carefully.
First, please write a brief (about 2 page) response to Willow as a coming of age story. Remember that coming of age means self-discovery as often as it means physical maturity. What are the elements of Willow that make it a coming of age story? Who is the story really about? What are the particular scenes in the film that lead you to the conclusions you reach?
Second, please finish The Secret Life of Bees, annotating the text as you go (I WILL check for your notes; you’ll get a grade for them, but you needn’t turn them in). Be ready in class to discuss the book in depth and detail; I want to know what you really think, and WHY you really think it.
If you have questions, concerns, or problems, please email me (sooner is better than later; don’t email me with a problem on Monday night…)
Here’s an email I received at – wait for it…. – 7:20 on Monday night:
Dear Mrs. Chili,
I don’t think I can complete Film& Literature becuase of the work load, it is increadibly stressful and I physically do not have the time to do all of this homework, on top of my other classes. The amount of stress that is being put on me to succeed is highly over whelming, In all seriousness I am getting gray hairs on my chin from the stress and the stress is putting a mental block on me which makes my other homework seem harder than it is, I eventually hyper ventalate and give up for a while. I feel like if I could take a class that doesnt involve as much work I could have a better chance to succeed in school. So I wanted to let you know that I will not have my homework tomorrow in class and I will discuss this further with you in person.
I would like to point out to you all that this assignment was given on Thursday afternoon. This class only meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That gives the kids Thursday and Friday nights, two weekend days, and Monday to do the work, not counting the M/W/F 45 minute homework periods every student gets, plus whatever study halls they have built into their schedules.
I predict that this kid’s going to have a very, very long year.