All right, bitches, Gandalf is intervening. I am so fucking done with blasts from the past, and I swear to Varda, there will be another fucking interspecies war over sparkly fucking rocks over my dead fucking body.
- Gandalf, to Thranduil, Thorin, and Bard, The Hobbit, chapter XVII
I’m fairly happy to see that Peter Jackson has finally managed to buy the rights to The Silmarillion and will be making a new trilogy based on it, but I’m iffy on his casting of Adam Sandler as Melkor.
I’m officially two weeks into teaching “The Hobbit.”
And it is such a rollercoaster.
Here are just a few of the moments I’ve had this week:
A group of girls being obsessed with how small a hobbit baby must be.
One student drawing me a Gollum for his character poster with a bottle of lotion because “It’ll help with his slimy skin.” Then being mad when I pointed out that, if he was wearing the ring (which he was), that he would be invisible, which resulted in a dramatic sigh and a “So I didn’t have to do anything other than the ring,” which made me laugh.
A student thinking elves and trolls are the same thing and a lengthy discussion on what defines each species.
A SPED student who barely pays attention answering my daily riddle almost immediately after I finished reading it and everyone in the room being super impressed, including his para.
One girl whining because she thinks The Hobbit is boring and me rather bluntly telling her that if she didn’t like this, which is relatively modern and fun with adventure, then the next three years of her English education were going to be rough. She then proceeded to whine and I moved on. A second later, another girl who never talks turned to me and gave me a shy smile and said, “I like it.” And I don’t think she knows how much that meant to me because it’s so hard to hear that something you’ve spent so much time and energy into making fun isn’t being appreciated.
One of the kids I taught during my student teaching burst into my room and yelled, “The Hobbit?!?! Why do the freshmen get to read it?!” So, ya know, even if all my freshmen aren’t thrilled, I’ve got a few jealous upperclassmen.
Some things I’ve absolutely come to love about it:
My “nerdy” kids have an opportunity to really be excited and be appreciated by the class for producing insight and pointing out things that are important later that the other kids didn’t notice.
My artistic kids are finding outlets through some of the projects we’re doing and are generally thriving.
My musical kids are singing (or trying to sing) all the various songs in the play and no one is judging or teasing them for it. Plus, it feels more authentic when the songs are sung.
The kids who have seen the movies are having great discussions about book-to-movie adaptations and are noticing more and more minute things and getting more “deep” with their discussions of why changes were made.
My kids are actively looking for theme and having great group discussions about things like greed and heroism and what it means to be kind.
My students are starting to learn how to annotate and actively think while they’re reading so they notice things.
Overall, it’s so great and I love it and how much I can do with it. It makes teaching English so much fun right now. I love it. This is what teaching is supposed to be like.