Saturday, November 15, 2008

the wily literature teacher

On Monday, I went to Blockbuster feeling particularly hot confident in my Standard Teacher Outfit of tasteful plaid skirt + heather grey tights + dark grey GAP sweater + high [for me] black heels. None of that is meant to imply I had any intentions other than to feel special in the presence of Geeky Cute Video Expert Guy (GCVEG).

BUT! I had a few extra minutes and truly wanted some advice about a movie that resembles the themes of Catcher in the Rye; this quarter's literature students are far more cynical about the novel than last spring's and I need something that really drives home the significance of a story about teenage alienation (as though these students have no idea how to identify with such a concept; argh). Who better to query than my favorite nonresponsive GCVEG?

I asked if he has seen Chapter 27; I figured the title is a reference to Catcher since the novel ends at chapter 26, and the movie follows Mark David Chapman's obsession with John Lennon and Holden Caulfield. GCVEG has not seen Chapter 27 (and actually thought it was about bankruptcy; I've already forgiven this as well as his guess that the author of Catcher was Steinbeck instead of Salinger - starts with an S, close enough) but he proceeded to offer other suggestions. Color me genius-like as I responded to each with "Yes, I thought of that, too, but it's rated R." I could show an R-rated movie but it requires parent permission forms and those make even ME roll my eyes...And if a kid doesn't bring one by the day I want to show the movie, I have to call the parent at home or work OR come up with an alternate assignment. Life is easier if I can just find a PG-13 movie.

Anyway, I think I finally convinced GCVEG that I am not [simply] a bourgeois, classless, Sopranos-loving lame ass. He promised to think about other possibilities and let me know the next time I come in.

And then I invited him to my classroom.