Friday, October 31, 2008
I started a book club with a few friends. We were going to meet in October to eat pumpkin muffins, drink hard cider, and discuss Dracula by Bram Stoker. Unfortunately, I finished the book while everyone else did important things like homework. So the book club meeting has been pushed into November and I’ve been sitting around thinking about vampires.
Things I loved about Dracula:
•The amazing first half of the book! The pace, the descriptions, the suspense, was so much better than I expected. It gets kind of boring towards the end, but the beginning scenes in Romania and in Germany makes the book worth reading.
•The veiled sexual innuendos. I also was amazed by the way the book revealed the Victorian males greatest fear: not of blood sucking Anti-Christs, but rather of women who freely express their sexualities.
•The way modernity gets in the way of the characters identifying the source of evil in their world. The characters are too rational and scientific to believe in things like vampires or to heed the folk legends of the less educated country peasants of Romania. The reliance of the main characters on technology and logic makes me think of the class I am taking on bringing the internet into K-12 instruction. It is wonderful to bring the fullness of the internet into the classroom and give students the chance to expand their concept of literacy with technology. I’m excited to implement all the things I’ve learned in the past few weeks about blogging, wikis, digital photography, Smartboard games, aggregators, etc. I’m certain that my knowledge of these technologies will allow many students to express themselves in ways I can’t even imagine right now. I just hope that in this sudden infusion of “technological uber-awesomeness” nothing gets lost in translation.
While waiting for the rest of my book club friends to finish Dracula, I read The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory. My obsession with vampires was quickly replaced with a sudden desire to learn everything I could about the wives of King Henry VIII. So far, I’ve made no connections with this book to the field of education, although I’ve certainly brushed up on my British history. :)
I still have two more weeks before the book club meets to discuss Dracula. Any suggestions on things I can read in the interim?