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Saturday, October 22, 2011

It is one of those periods in which life becomes so demanding that blogging becomes... difficult if not impossible.  I haven't had time to post anything on FLY HIGH since last Wednesday and only posted giveaway winners' names and a guespost on My Jane Austen Book Club. I can't complain, that's quite enough if I think of the many other things I've been doing. I just wanted to reassure you that I'm working and really active,  only not on the blogging front. I can't be online that much and I have got very little spare time left for my reading and reviewing activity. That's a pity but ... this is my job!
Teaching literature, as you know - teaching in general - can be rather engaging and time-consuming.  Lesson-plans to prepare,  tests and papers to correct and assess are the most time-consuming activities and not the only ones! This year I've got 6 different classes, with 3 different syllabuses: language and grammar (intermediate and upper - intermediate levels) as well as literature from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
What am I working on these days? Quite interesting stuff, well, at least interesting to me.
The least appealing is the introduction to English History and Literature I have to propose to my 16-year-old students. Early Britain, that is the series of invasions which characterizes the history of ancient Britain: the Celts, the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings, the Normans. My power point slides and anecdotes about the Celts and the Anglo-Saxons, the Romans and the Normans,  usually make it easier for me and for my pupils.
After introducing the Renaissance and the Tudors to my 17 year old students, we started talking about Shakespeare and reading some of his sonnets. They seem quite interested: they laughed at my reading "My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing like the Sun", nodded silently but convincingly at my commenting the theme of love in "Let me not the Marriage of True Minds"  and seemed very motivated at recognizing the theme of Time and of the immortality of Art in "Shall I compare thee?". No visual aids this time? Yes! Here they are ...

David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) sings "Shall I compare Thee ..."

Kate Winslet (as Marianne Dashwood)- "Let me not to the Marriage of True Minds"

With my oldest students, 18 years old,  we've been studying literature from the Early Romantic Age, both poetry and fiction. The latest pages we read were from Gothic novels and they particularly liked Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein". This morning I started talking about the parody of the gothic vogue written by  Jane Austen: "Northanger Abbey"
Question: "Have you ever heard of Jane Austen? Answer: "No, never. Why? Is she famous?"
Poor Jane! Poor me!
Well, you see, at least they won't ignore her any longer. They've met me! Next week we'll work on the plot and the heroine of Northanger Abbey with the help of some clips...
Catherine at Northanger Abbey

That's all for tonight. I hope I didn't make you bored with my ramblings about school.

 Have a great weekend, dear friends! MG


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