Sunday, September 1, 2013

Summer Days, Drifitng Away. . .

Alas, the end of the summer has come. For those of us in the Northeast, we can expect fall weather to begin in the next few weeks.  For many people I know, fall is their favorite season.  The leaves change colors, the hayrides begin, apple cider is fresh, and I DON'T LIKE IT.  I want all summer all the time. But, too bad, so sad. Not only will the weather change, but it's back to school time. Sighhhhh. Wiley says he's ready, but we shall see. 

Like my students in Advanced Placement English Literature, Wiley has been reading Ethan Frome over the summer.

He actually requested it when he found out Edith Wharton was one of the founders of the New York ASPCA. She loved dogs and it is estimated she had dozens in her lifetime, with lots of mixed breeds and mutts on that list.

There is a famous line of poetry she wrote, "My little old dog. . .a heartbeat at my feet," that gets tossed around the great world wide web quite often.

I tried to tell Wiley that Ethan Frome was a very depressing read, but he was determined. He couldn't wait to get to school to talk about the first few chapters.

I think he was just excited to show off his Harry Potter backpack, but either way I knew he was in for a surprise when he got through the book. Here's the look he gave when he found out about the (SPOILER) suicide pact.

Then he got to the end, and boy was he ever feeling melancholy.

I told him all of Wharton's books were pretty sad, but he still took it hard when he found out they were stuck together for the rest of their lives.

Poor guy. I hated to squelch his love of one of America's greatest writers. 

I decided to send him off to school to bark about it with the other kids, sort of like group therapy.

We'll continue with the reading list for AP Lit, but it doesn't get much happier. Wait until he gets to To Kill A Mockingbird. Of course, maybe I'm giving him too much credit, and it will go more like this:

Until then I'll just distract him by telling him to analyze what the cat symbolizes in Ethan Frome. That should keep him busy for awhile.

So, are you all in the back-to-school mode? Perhaps it doesn't affect you at all. Maybe your seasons don't change or maybe where you are it's getting warmer instead of colder. Just think of those of us on the front lines of the classrooms, and say a prayer and/or spare a thought for a safe and productive year, please and thanks!

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