Let’s Stop Asking Why We Should Study Literature, and Start Asking What English Class Is For

I’ve been wondering a lot lately what the hell I’m doing. I treat my English class like my own personal rumpus room. What do I think is fun or interesting? What do I think it’s important for my students to know? What is in the news that I feel like talking about that day? It makes for a lot of great class discussions. One of my students from last term, walking past my classroom, said to me between classes, “Monsieur, I don’t know what you were teaching before, but it…

My Robot Friend

One of the things I found most difficult about being a teacher candidate was moving all the time. Every three to five weeks over the course of teacher’s college, I was picking up and moving either from my crappy apartment in Kingston to my folks’ place in Ottawa or back to the aforementioned crappy apartment. It was nice to be back at home; I hadn’t lived with my parents in years, and I had hardly been home at all in the previous fourteen months due to a punishing work schedule…

Scarface, Part One

Those that know me (or, failing that, those who creepily stare at me from across rooms) know that, up close, I’ve got a few divots in my otherwise unblemished boyish good looks. I have very nearly symmetrical scars above my eyes, for example. You’d think that such perfectly mirrored chunks taken out of my brow would have been from some freak accident involving a obsessive-compulsive mugger, or from a run-in with curious but aesthetically advanced aliens, but no–they were, in fact, thirteen years apart¬†and under wildly different circumstances. The second…