For the past decade or so I've had the opportunity, now and then, to participate in a program called The Big Read, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (link to the relevant site). The idea of the program is to get the community involved--not just the schools--with a specific (generally celebrated) book. On the list of NEH-recommended titles (link) is ... The Call of the Wild, 1903, a novella I know a wee bit about.
And so it is, from time to time, that I've been invited various places to talk about the book and its author, Jack London.
On Tuesday, I'm driving to Hartland, Mich., where I will spend a few days talking with middle schoolers (haven't done that in a while!) about London's life--and then an evening talk to the community about Wild. (Link to that event info.)
I'm gonna be busy.On April 13th, I'll meet with five different classes of 7th graders; on the 14th, three groups of 8th graders. Community talk is that evening.
I think I'm gonna be whupped and voiceless by the time it's all over.
Meanwhile, I've been re-reading Wild (for the umpty-teenth time), reading a few new books about London that have appeared since the last time I did this, updating my trusty (?) PowerPoints, trying to remember what it's like to deal with middle-schoolers (I retired from teaching 8th graders in January 1997, though I have met with various groups for London presentations now and then).
Anyway, while I'm there, I intend to keep doing posts, more or less in a chunky fashion (chunks of this, chunks of that) in a format I'm going to call "Hartland Sundries."
Then again, I could just collapse into bed and not wake up until the Apocalypse.
|red pointer marks Hartland, Mich.|