Young Adult Lit/Crit

April 10, 2008

Feedback for Allison’s Seminar: One Week Later

Filed under: seminar feedback — traverse02 @ 7:46 pm

Well, it’s been a week since I attended Allison’s seminar on ‘Viewing September 11, 2001 and the Aftermath Using YA Literature,’ so I figured now is as good a time as any to provide some feedback. Better late than never, right? Well, anyways, to get to the point, Allison did a very good job in her research and offered a wide array of texts touching on many different aspects of that fateful day. Our time was spent addressing everything from the Muslim American experience in a post 9/11 world to the situation in Afghanistan and on to classroom activities that can help students enter a dialog about one of the most significant days in American history (what I consider to be the defining day of the new millennium). The most interesting aspect of the seminar for me was the fiction/non-fiction dealing with the current situation in Afghanistan. Since 9/11, concern over what is going on on that side of the world has dwindled and no one even talks about it anymore. Allison recommended one book in particular, To Afghanistan and Back: A Graphic Travelogue, which I will no doubt be picking up in the next few weeks (once the semester is over and I can read whatever I want… mwahahaha).

I feel this topic is important for students and teachers and everyone in the world to learn more about simply because the attacks have faded into the background and we’re all still suffering (ahem… the War in Iraq… ahem). Many of the students we will be teaching in the future will have little to no memory of what occurred and it is imperative that they know since this event has transformed our country into what it is today.

What impressed me most was the depth to which Allison performed her research and the various texts that she brought with her to share. She even had recommendations for particular members in the group. Incredible.

I contributed by sharing my initial reactions to the attacks, as well as a disturbing incident from the SUNY Buffalo campus where two Indian students were mistaken for “towelheads” and booed out of a large lecture hall before the teacher arrived. I also asked how risky it might be to talk about 9/11 and the attacks considering the various conspiracy theories that have been brought up over the years (some of which aren’t completely unreasonable).

The assignments outlined by Allison in teaching this topic to students were very well thought out and provided good prompts and questions to get students talking, as well as interesting research projects that involve the use of new technology in the classroom.

Great work Allison!

Godspeed,

Raph

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1 Comment »

  1. Allison~

    I too found your seminar piece very well done, almost flawless. You executed the seminar perfected with a discussion starter, by asking for our input and memories from 9/11. By showing an immediate interest in our thoughts and experiences, you added an emotion to the seminar that cannot be found in a lecture. The texts you chose for your seminar were multi-genres and multicultural (e.g. American students’ poems and letters after 9/11, and an 11th-grade Australian girl who learns how to manage being a devout Muslim simultaneously). Your prompts, mini-lessons and goals are detailed, interesting and useful for future teaching. I could easily tell that you did a lot of research prior to the presentation and was passionate about your topic, both crucial for successful teaching!

    ~Jessica

    Comment by jexter1 — April 11, 2008 @ 9:21 am


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