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.

Movie Scenes that Improve Your Life... When the cheering stops (or never starts) -- an argument in s

In Fighting With My Family, Saraya (Florence Pugh) scolds her pouting brother Zak (Jack Lowden). His dreams of becoming a big-time professional wrestler are gone, and he can't cope. What she says to him affected me so much that I spontaneously reevaluated my life, which seems like a ridiculous thing to write since I'm 63 years old. But what she says to him was just what this retired teacher and aspiring writer needed to hear. What Saraya said to Zak is the kind of thing film characters say that makes movies (still) important, valuable and relevant. What Saraya said to Zak might compel you to reevaluate your life, too. Or maybe reconsider your aspirations. What Saraya said to Zak was: Just '