Have you ever noticed how Disney shows go line-joke set up-line-line-joke-laugh track? Well I watch a lot of Disney, and obviously my kids do, too -- more than I care to admit. So as we're sitting here chilling out with some Chick Fil A drive thru and Disney's Descendants (it's that kid of Monday), I thought: this is what we do.
No, no, not eat fast food and watch made-for-TV movies. Anticipate and recognize story patterns and how and why they work. For my six and four year-old gals, the line-joke set up-line-line-laugh track schtick works. We could probably say why and how it works, right? They get the wind up and the pitch, and they're giggling all the way home.
When we focus on the deep structure of stories, we get better at doing more than playing literary devices bingo. We're building a habit of mind that, I believe, will yield more mature analysis, the kind that becomes rewarding. So, we can move from, "oh, look, a symbol!" to "oh, look, this symbol might exist for this specific reason because this writer is trying to...isn't that cool?"
We are chipping away at that, guys.
Here's a rundown of this week:
Today: one of my all time favorite stories of all time ever Bullet in the Brain by Tobias Wolff.
Tuesday: BinB Socratic Seminar
Wednesday: English department Read What You Want Day
Thursday: Writer Groups Mentor Text (<-- linked and ready)
Friday: Short story read-a-thon!
Sound good? Good. Let's make it a great week!
Ps. With all this Disney talk, it reminds me that this cool sounding documentary is on tonight on PBS. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-0914-walt-disney-review-20150914-column.html