My students are wrapping up the first unit in English 120, and it dawned on me that the unit could benefit from stronger readings. I did ask students to read "Students Have the Power to Lead," but as a piece of non-fiction and high-density information, that chapter never starts any fires. I probably need to do a better job of selling and teaching that chapter if I continue to use it. I have also been thinking about adding a good reading or two about money and the meaning of life. I am trying to get students to profile each other, and I think some stronger readings on money and the meaning of life might help them ask better questions and work on incorporting secondary sources. I bought a collection of essays that I should definitely consult, and maybe compile a casebook / course pack.
As we move into unit 2, I am realizing that using White Like Me might not be the best way to go. I should probably have students read a few of Tim Wise's commentaries, read excerpts from a few of the other books I have started to assemble, and show a few of the short films I have started to collect. Working with this kind of casebook approach, students would have more context for rhetorically analyzing Wise or other authors, and they might see that there is a context for thinking about "whiteness." Assembling these two sets of readings into casebooks might be a good model for students as we move into more independent reading and research projects for the remaining assignments.
On a completely different note, I have more or less wrapped up and sent out two articles in the last 5 days--feels good!!! Of course the reader-reports might hurt.... I'll be sure to blog about my next project--the encouragement I have received from the 4 people who read this thing was surprisingly, well, encouraging.