Last week I led my first discussion in our second maximum-block course. We are reading Honoré de Balzac's Père Goriot and the students are already intrigued by --and suspicious of-- the elusive Vautrin!
Above and beyond our enthusiastic discussion of character typing, the Novel of Education, and Rastignac's pursuit of success at all costs, I continue to be inspired and awed by the learning community that has formed around our class. One student said that they read 25 full pages of the novel aloud as a group!
Each session I learn more about being fully present as an instructor. Reflecting on each meeting with my co-teacher Kaitlin Shirley has allowed us both to identify practices that work well, and adapt to the needs and interests of our students, each of whom have different goals. Despite those differences, I have seen the text become a meeting place that fosters human connection. More than ever before, I have seen that the act of reading can bring people together in unexpected and constructive ways.
My class with Kaitlin has quickly become the best part of my week! I am so excited to work with our incoming cohort of instructors as they share their favorite books with the students. Stay tuned for more details as Reading World Literature moves forward with even more diverse course offerings!