here I am –

– trying to get teenagers interested in literature …

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me presenting books

Trying to get them to want to read books (instead of going online :)), and encouraging them to reflect upon what they have read. A very interesting and challenging task.

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students talking about funny books

These 17-years-old are part of a national jury called Ungdommens kritikerpris (young critics award), a jury which will decide which was the best Norwegian adult fiction book in 2013.

kritikarpris_JA1_8023_2The teacher and I, making lists of pro & contras

I have visited the class three times this winter, talking about criticism; how to read in a critical way, and how to discuss fiction, and how to give grounds for evaluations.

On my last day in the class we were visited by the newspaper. All images are from Stavanger Aftenblad

4 Comments

  1. Interesting! Do most of the students use e-readers? I’m finding that in my class–though I am stubbornly sticking to paper books (more enjoyable to mark them up when I’m studying). Annoyingly, one young student said: “only old people read paper books.” Sigh.

    1. They have to read these books on paper, they are not digitalized. But what I found strange, is that the students go to school without pen and notepad. They are supposed to, but they don’t. Actually they take all their notes on iPhones! I used my second meeting with them to talk about the craft of writing, how we also think through our hands, how the point sometimes isn’t to get things done as fast as possible – but rather to stop up, linger.

      These are media students, speedy people.

  2. I have to insist that my students (university sophomores for the most part) bring a pen or pencil to class at very least–I tell them they need to annotate the poems they are reading. If they want to keep the pages pristine (not everyone likes marginalia), they can use post-it notes or jot notes on a (paper) notepad. No highlighting: they have to write comments, reminders, questions, asterisks, stars, whatever.

    They think I am a crazy woman, but most of them find out that annotation helps them to understand the challenging literature. I know there are supposedly ways to annotate on e-readers, but pencils are faster if it’s speed they want. And as you state–speed isn’t necessarily what you need when analyzing.

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