Friday, March 04, 2005

Why We Do This

Last night I walked into my classroom and found my students debating whether Oedipus had done anything of his own free will or if it had all been fate. They had started the debate themselves, on their own, with no prompting. They fired a couple of questions at me before I could even get the door shut behind me. Then they launched into a discussion of whether epics or tragedies are more interesting and how all these Greeks classics keep showing up in our pop culture with movies like Minority Report still questioning the conflict between free will and fate.

One student said that she had printed out a piece I posted to their discussion board about "Why We Love Epics" and given it to the librarian at her son's school. This librarian has banned Harry Potter books, and the student wanted to point out to her that those books are epics like the classic epics and that they have many, many references to Greek mythology in them. She used what she got from my class to argue her case that the books she wanted her son to read were educational.

The room was alive with mental energy and genuine interest in learning. This is the kind of day that makes you remember why you do it.

1 comment:

TT said...

Once a non-traditional student waited after class for me. She had come to school through the Displaced Homemaker program, and she wasn't all that sure whether college was the right place for her. She told me, blushing, that she had read a love poem we'd studied in class to her husband on their anniversary. It's moments like that, and the exciting classes like the one you first mentioned, that make me want to keep teaching.