On the drive here, we listened to the first half of the Brilliance production of WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson. I really like the narrator for this one. Hers is the voice I heard in my head as I was reading the book last year. Natalie fell into the story immediately. Her only comment as we neared the hotel was that she hoped I had brought a "lighter" book for the journey home. Interestingly enough, she brought the audio of Harry Potter along with her to listen to when I was working. She has some really interesting observations to make about Jim Dale's narration as well. It is nice to have summer vacation as it means time for us to talk about books other than the literary canon. I was talking to her about Kelly Gallagher's observations in READICIDE that teachers can UNDERteach or OVERteach a book. I think she really connected with this as she had both kinds of experiences, both equally frustrating for her. She has opted out of AP English with our blessings for her final two years. The real shame is that I know there are TONS of great English teachers out there and there is not one in her school (at least not that we have encountered).
Oh well, off to get ready for the day. Children's lit for 20 grad students. This is our sole face to face meeting. I refuse (and so do my colleagues) to do everything online without meeting the students first. We will spend the day together (20% of total meeting time set aside for the class) to talk and ask questions and explore and read. At the end of the day, I have a trunk full of free books and audiobooks to hand out for these brave (crazy?) students who take classes in 5 week sessions.