Wednesday, December 26, 2012

66. A Blogger's Follow-up: One Year Later

Google Images
A student of mine once wrote that posting things and waiting for answers from students when it’s holiday time is useless: nobody’s ‘here’, meaning nobody cares about blogs like this which are – according to a somewhat general opinion – the place where bloggers (that is to say, blogs’ authors) upload material as a way of pouring out their hearts, or of venting their frustration, but then again it should be for everyone to…witness? I’ll never know.

What I know as yet is that this blog is...65 posts and 365 days old. In the meantime it has changed its basic purpose for what might be seen as more feasible and accessible. There is too much to deal with anyway, so proposing oneself and visitors more realistic challenges has more chances of fulfilment.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: what does this have to do with Charlie Gordon? Quite a lot, I’d say: the ideas put forth by Daniel Keyes are so deep and so numerous that it’s almost impossible not to feel like commenting.

Google Images
Then there are the audios, and the videos (and there's a theatre play, too!). 'Flowers for Algernon' is one of those short stories which is a must for every English-speaking pupil in the English Language classroom: it has all the right in the world to be read, listened to, viewed and debated. All the media employed convey the same deeply moving themes, albeit in different ways. You just look at how Charlie’s spelling and grammar changes to understand how challenging a text can be when compared to a film, or a radio performance.

If ‘a picture paints a thousand words’, then how does Keys paint Charlie’s evolution through spelling and grammar?     

There they are: videos 3 and 4 – maybe a little out of step with the audios or the text, but it’s holiday time, isn’t it?

So, 65 posts and 365 days later, the myth of Easy English is still on!

The best thing to do would be to start building up a map of themes that you discover while reading the text, listening to the audios and viewing the video episodes. They will all be the basis for the classroom debate.