Today we started our Malcolm Gladwell book presentations! I was very impressed with most of them – it sounds like you’ve learned some cool things from your readings. We’ll continue with the presentations on Friday and Monday. Just a note – please make sure that your group is not going over 12 minutes or so (especially in third and fourth periods, as those classes are larger).
And I’ve mentioned this in class, but I am adjusting grades based on individual group members’ contributions. Some of you have expressed some mild frustration with your peers’ work ethics, and I completely understand how frustrating that can be! However, I think learning to deal with that dilemma is actually a very worthwhile lesson – unfortunately, I think that’s going to be a challenge that you encounter on through your careers. But I’m really going to try to make your grades for this assignment as fair as possible!
Today we finished the Odyssey (we concluded by reading Book 23 outloud), and then we moved on to some selections from Margaret Atwood’s excellent novella, The Penelopiad. The Penelopiad tells the story of the Odyssey from Penelope’s and the maids’ perspectives. One of the things that I really like about this piece is that it not only provides a critical lens with regard to gender, it also critiques the traditional story of the Odyssey in terms of class – Penelope and the maids aren’t exactly united, in large part because of the tensions between the ruling and the servant classes.
I’d like to get your opinions on what we read, so if you have time, would you answer these polls?
And for extra credit (in my heart), leave a comment under this post about what you thought of the whole Odyssey. Things you could mention include which adventure was your favorite, what you were most upset/surprised about, what you think happens between Odysseus and Penelope after the book ends, etc.