What Should We Talk About?

My favorite part of teaching was sharing evocative passages, affecting scenes, meaningful lyrics and innovative ideas with my students. We’d read, watch and listen to them, then think, talk and write about them.


It kept me from the curriculum. But then I’d think, Why isn’t this the curriculum? This is what kids need to learn! For example, after watching the scene where Tom Hanks scolds Geena Davis in A League of Their Own,


“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!”


I’d share it with students and explain why I showed it to them. And now I’m sharing passages, scenes, lyrics and ideas with you with the goal of getting a thought-provoking, life-enhancing conversations started.

Pearls of Wisdom from Lupe Fiasco and T.I.

One of my students pointed out that Skyler Grey must like singing backup on controversial rap songs. Songs with anger. Songs of disgust. Songs with lots to say. Songs crying out for intense discussion. And, behind the bitterness, songs of hope. You'll benefit from listening to and thinking about both. I don't love every line Fiasco and T.I. write. I can't get behind the radical 9/11 theories. I love Lupe Fiasco's personal story, especially his early life – read it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupe_Fiasco. But I definitely don't agree that the answer to any problem is to boycott voting. And, unlike Fiasco, I don't "believe in the people." "The people" need a lot of work. I looked hard f