so...my students are back on my good side. we had an amazing (not even kidding) discussion in class today about the book we are reading and they were all fairly engaged. pat did, indeed, sit in on the class which was nerve-wracking but nice in a wierd way.
in class we discussed eric schlosser's chapters of fast food nation that expose the meatpacking industry for the horror show that it really is. my students were all over this (after some teacherly prodding), but they just couldn't get over one particular story from the text.
in describing chicago's packingtown of the 1960's, schlosser mentions one incident in which an employee fell into a vat of some sort and was made into lard which was then sold to unknowing customers. jason (loved him from day one, strict mainer in every sense of the word) raised his hand after his classmate references this incident.
"yes, jason," i said, waiting for the brilliance that would surely follow.
he began slowly with furrowed brow, "i'm just wondering...are you made into lard, or is it more like chunks of man in my lard? i'm not really familiar with lard myself."
the entire class, including me and pat, lost it. i then attempted to answer his question by explaining that since customers didn't know, i would doubt the "chunks of man" theory. however, not being familiar with lard either, i then began to conjecture about a straining process that would remove the "chunks" and the discussion degenerated from there. another student chimed in with, "would your clothes become lard too?" again, i referenced my ridiculous (read: completely made up) straining. we laughed all the way through the rest of class anytime another wayward student tried to make a point along the lines of, "it's better than being made into lard!" hilarious.
fast forward two hours when i go to talk to pat about what she witnessed and what she thought. first question: "who was the guy by the window in the red..." my answer: "oh...that's jason." her response: "oh, i absolutely loved him. right right right."
me too, pat. me too.
btw, she said the students were serious but not scared. love it. she also said that for a class period after an "i'm disappointed in you" lecture, they were surprisingly upbeat and willing to participate.