Wow – I was really nervous to teach in front of you. I was pretty intimidated by teaching a class of experts – but you were as Prof. Sample said you would be – my ideal students! So thanks for that!
I was primarily nervous about teaching this particular lesson to you because I was going out on a limb with my claim for motive. What I am proposing as a motive isn’t backed up by any experts (that I could find). But I became am more convinced of its possibility after reading Poe’s “Philosophy of Composition”. By giving you some bits of that essay, it might have made my proposition more plausible to you. And after I figured out how to use it, I think it became the heart of my lesson. It was also a necessary piece of the puzzle because without knowing a little about Poe’s process you might not have been willing to work on the question of motive. Most people simply accept the fact that we will never understand the reason, and would be rightly skeptical of someone claiming to know the motive.
I see from developing this lesson, that a teacher should have some good reasons for asking students to do something. Not only that, but be able to explain those reasons, and create work that helps makes connections. When the students feel the work is pointless, they don’t engage as fully – it merely becomes busy work filling 75 min of their lives.
As I mentioned in my lesson, I really related to the difficulty paper idea. I think this concept can be used in various ways to get students to engage in some deeper level thinking. Even in the Eng 101’s, where literature is being pushed aside in favor of more article/opinion type reading, the difficulty paper can be used. I will probably use it quite a bit next semester, as well as other lessons I learned both from you and from our class.