idk who needs to hear this but when your english teacher asks you to explain why an author chose to use a specific metaphor or literary device, it’s not because you won’t be able to function in real-world society without the essential knowledge of gatsby’s green light or whatever, it’s because that process develops your abilities to parse a text for meaning and fill in gaps in information by yourself, and if you’re wondering what happens when you DON’T develop an adult level of reading comprehension, look no further than the dizzying array of examples right here on tumblr dot com
this post went from 600 to 2400 notes in the time it took me to write 3 emails. i’m already terrified for what’s going to happen in there
k but also, as an addendum, the reason we study literary analysis is because everything an author writes has meaning, whether it was intentional or not, and their biases and agendas are often reflected in their choice of language and literary devices and so forth! and that ties directly into being able to identify, for example, the racist and antisemitic dogwhistles often employed by the right wing, or the subconscious word choices that can unintentionally illustrate someone’s bias or blind spot. LANGUAGE HAS WEIGHT AND MEANING! the way we communicate is a reflection of our inner selves, and that’s true regardless of whether it’s a short story or a novel or a blog post or a tweet. instead of taking a piece of writing at face value and stopping there, assuming that there is no deeper meaning or thought behind the words on the page, ask yourself these two questions instead:
1. what is the author trying to say?
2. what does the author maybe not realize they’re saying?
because the most interesting reading of any piece of literature, imho, usually occupies the space in between those questions.
Analyzing text is literally a life skill, y’all.
3. What are you, personally, bringing to your analysis of the art?
Art is, fundamentally, a dialogue between artist and audience. You’re going to have a very different take on the work if:
- You have an intense emotional reaction to the work because it hits a bit too close to home/there’s other stuff going on in your life that you somehow connect to this work.
- Your own personal context either lets you in on a shared experience with an author who has something in common with you/gives you a totally different perspective because the writer’s identity is totally different from yours. Did the author get certain things wrong? Is the author writing about something you’ve never personally experienced before?
A couple of things you should ask yourself before dropping that hot take:
- Are there particular biases or beliefs that are blocking your ability to analyze the work accurately? Is your interpretation based more on your initial gut reaction to the story and characters than what’s actually in the text? Can you collect and provide evidence from within the text to back up your own interpretation beyond just how it made you feel in that particular moment?
- Is this your own opinion of the text, or are you unwittingly mirroring the opinion of someone else whose analysis you saw before getting into the text yourself?
- Do you recognize your own interpretation is unique to you and that others might see the same artwork differently? If other people disagree with you, do you understand why they disagree with you?
Analyzing the work, trying to guess the author’s intent, and backing up your arguments with evidence from the text are essential skills. However, recognizing your own role as audience and that you’re not necessarily a passive, unbiased observer is important if you want to take the next step towards more nuanced analysis and criticism.
Something a lot of the half-baked takes that everyone makes fun of have in common is that they say a lot more about the critic than the work itself, so that self-awareness can help you avoid falling into that trap. There’s no such thing as a totally objective critic, but recognizing and owning that your experience is subjective can lead to much more meaningful critiques of art because you can more clearly explain why a piece made you feel the way it did without pretending your take is The One True Take.
Happy election day! A day when I, a public school teacher, am furloughed without pay because of the fucked up way this country funds its schools, one of the cornerstones of democracy.
when you don’t Feel Like Getting Into It with a classmate who posted some real dumbass shit in this week’s discussion post so you just subtweet them in your two required posts to other classmates
Everyone: TERFs should shut up.
Galaxy-brained terf: Hmm, how curious, OP…all TERFs are women…and you want TERFs to shut up…so you despise and want to silence all women huh, you fascist pig. I am very intelligent.
Every terf in the notes:
OOGA BOOGA, MIGHTY VULVA!
I’ve seen the notes on this post and just want to reassure every TERF that so far I’ve read literally none of your essays.
During World War II, 600,000 African-American women entered the wartime workforce. Previously, black women’s work in the United States was largely limited to domestic service and agricultural work, and wartime industries meant new and better-paying opportunities – if they made it through the hiring process, that is. White women were the targets of the U.S. government’s propaganda efforts, as embodied in the lasting and lauded image of Rosie the Riveter.Though largely ignored in America’s popular history of World War II, black women’s important contributions in World War II factories, which weren’t always so welcoming, are stunningly captured in these comparably rare snapshots of black Rosie the Riveters.
-Cheezy grin- Black Women!!!!
Thank you all!!
Thank you 🙂
we started school - only 20% of the student body in the building at a time for the first five days this past week.
and YET, a student has already tested positive after a party off-campus. she didn’t come to school, but her friends who were also there and who hadn’t been tested yet did.
also, the district’s elearning platform is not gonna work because they only have half the teachers they need. So, in addition to teaching two lessons per day for hybrid learning, I might have to take on additional elearning students who will require a completely different set of lesson plans.
i’m so fucked. we’re all so fucked.
update: after delaying the elearning start date AGAIN, the district did indeed take the students who enrolled in the 100% online program,the students they PROMISED us back in June would be well taken care of, and enrolled them back into their home schools. So, the promise they made in June and again in July that teachers would not be teaching online and in-person simultaneously was a lie.
they told us on 8/24 that they couldn’t make the online program work for high school kids (apparently it’s fine for elementary and middle?) so all high school teachers are now teaching hybrid learners and elearners. I got 26 kids added to my rosters across three different preps with one week’s notice.
So, in addition to running the hybrid classroom, which requires me to have an online lesson and in-person lesson each day, I now have a third 100% online lesson that needs to happen each day. Thankfully, I can line up my hybrid and elearners so they only need 2 additional lessons fully online per week, but that’s still 6 additional lessons (i teach 3 different classes, remember) added to my course load AND 26 extra assignments to grade each day. Conservatively, let’s say each kid requires 20 minutes of grading each week (ha! i wish!); that’s a minimum of an additional 8 and a half hours of just grading a week that they just plopped in my lap.
And let’s not forget that I’m still risking my health by teaching in-person during this pandemic when they’ve A) cut my salary by adding furlough days, B) reduced my take-home by cutting health insurance contributions, and C) added a clause to my contract that says they can cut my pay without notice at any time. Let’s also not forget my added sanitation duties, which include cleaning the desks in my classroom after every. single. class. period.
THIS is why you need unions, friends. my contract is so vague, they can basically add anything to my duties and not violate it. The union in my district is completely toothless (no collective bargaining and no striking power), so the district can do shit like this to me - increasing my work load while cutting my pay - with absolutely no consequences.
Best part? No one at the district has publicly acknowledged that they fucked up elearning and that hs teachers are saving their bacon. In fact, they let the TEACHERS notify the community after pushing back the start date repeatedly. You’ll never guess who’s taking the heat over this colossal failure …
i love my students. it’s not the fault of my elearners that the district failed them so spectacularly. I will work so hard for them. but as hard as I work, i’ve been set up to fail.
- the superintendent resigned (while under investigation our school board maintains silence about)
- we’re currently 17 teachers down at my school because at least 2 kids have tested positive for COVID just today and now those 17 teachers have to quarantine for two weeks, even if they test negative
- only 9 subs were willing to take the two week job, so the rest of us just have to give up our plan periods for the next two weeks to cover the remaining 8 teachers
- no plan periods while providing three different lesson plans in three different learning formats each day. sure. no problem.