03 October 2010

i am living in

Faulkner, Wilson, O'Connor, Alcott, Lee, Steinbeck, Dickinson, Cather, Potok, Cisneros, Twain, Hemingway, Plath, Miller, Williams, Chopin, Wharton, Satrapi, Smith, Frost, Fitzgerald, Malamud, Foer, Whitman, Kingsolver, Quindlen, Schlosser, Krakauer, McCourt, Bronte(s), Ibsen, Tan, Longfellow, Austen, Wilde, Dickens, Hughes, Hurston, Stowe, Capote, Melville, Joyce, Shakespeare, Woolf, Bradbury, Eliot, Vonnegut, Heller, Kingston, Orwell, Bellow, Forster, Kerouac, Salinger, Stegner, London, Delillo, Burgess, Morrison, Angelou, Tolkien, Rand, Tolstoy, and even King.

I have obsessed over which novels and play to choose for my ENG201 class and as I teach my shorter pieces this semester and choose the longer works for next these authors have been popping up at every turn.

I wandered the library for a couple hours on Saturday. Asher was with me half that time and he helped a whole lot.

As I went from aisle to aisle I was met with all these names and more I can't easily recall right now. Authors from near and far as familiar as some of my family.

I never thought I was smart growing up because I could never focus or feel like learning was obtainable until I came to BYU-Hawaii and something clicked. Part of what clicked was a great English class with OBTAINABLE literature that made me realize I had been reading for fun my whole life and helped me draw from warm memories being read to as a child.

I still draw from that familiarity in literature now. I can't be too homesick with a captivating tale by my side or being animatedly narrated to my children now.

If I pass down only a few things to my children, I hope that a strong testimony and a love for learning and reading number among the top.

I think I've settled on my titles for next semester:

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

I choose these for their varying lengths, themes, gender Protagonists, and criteria for fitting elements of the "Coming of Age" genre I want to focus on to guide our discussions.

It could change, but I think, I THINK this is it. Can't wait!


echo said...

glad the books are finally chosen!
i think maybe i should go back to school just so i can take your english class and maybe, just maybe i might change my mind on the subject.

liko said...

exciting to choose your material - but at the same time soooo hard to make the decision, huh??

and all those names sound vaguely familiar...

and i have four of those 6 books in my home. not bad, eh?

and i didn't want to intrude on anyone today, we would've stopped by had i known ya'll were down with it. and i hope the same things for my children: unwaivering testimonies and a love for learning and reading!!

liko said...


Ali said...

This is seriously cool! I would love to be a student walking into your classroom!

This may be a lame question, but what do your students call you?

Rachel said...

I think you made an exceptional list. It has everything. I'm glad you are including some books that don't (but should) always make it to the classroom. (p.s.you'll have to tell me how the students react to the Bell Jar) Oh your list is so fun!!! Also, congratulations on moving on up.

stephanie joy said...

Thanks friends! Ali, everyone calls everyone Brother or Sister (enter last name here) just like at church and I thought, "Well my name is Stephanie..." at first, but since I look the same age as many of them I just decided to go with the Sister Robertson name so I would be somewhat respectable. :) I get called Miss or Sistah by some though. A couple of times "Professor," which gave me a good, long chuckle.... I know people with their Doctorates and 20+ years of teaching under their belt who still have to apply for that full title so calling me that is extra absurd!

I like it best when they just don't call me anything. haha

Christina said...

How fun! If you had to recommend just 1 which would it be? I'm on the hunt for a new book to read...

Kahilau said...

Amazing! I have read some of those and I am going to have Mike bring home a couple more because I am really lacking a good book! I wish I had someone with your enthusiasm teaching me English. Maybe I would have liked it more.

stephanie joy said...

Christina- start with Persepolis- I think you would like the cultural perspective and it is a breeze to get through so who doesn't like that??? Plus it's just awesome.

boo face mcjones said...

Oh, I think you put together a brilliant collection! I can see so many great themes intertwining, so many cool facets to explore, and such an amazing teacher to take all the lucky students along on the journey. Lucky kids, they are.

P.S. I always hated telling students what to "call" me. I never felt qualified enough for the normal titles, but I also thought I needed to establish some kind of rapport... I think you should just have them call you "hot mama." Or "Sister hot mama." You know, if the shoe fits...

Carrie said...

I am excited to read a few of these myself. Geez I think you are so cool.

That mushroom on top of those books I want is the cutest thing ever.

Megan and Keli'i said...

Beautiful. Love all the works. Well done, Steph.