what is the elephant who is the elephant elephants are amazing: when the teacher is the distraction

Yesterday in class we were discussing Jo Kyung Ran’s amazing short story “Looking for the Elephant” and students were puzzled in a kind of urgent way about the elephant: who is the elephant what is the elephant is the elephant real. And I kind of blurted out (in a way we often don’t appreciate when our students do it), “Elephants are amazing. Do you know this? Do you know how amazing they are?”

There was a brief moment of silence. Then they all looked at their laptops and quietly started tapping away. “Are you googling elephants?” I couldn’t help but laugh. They laughed and nodded yes.

So we took about 20 minutes for some research time. Then we got back to the story: what is the elephant who is the elephant elephants ARE amazing.

Looking for the Elephant is in an anthology put together by the wonderful Words Without Borders.

About Jane Hammons

I write. I teach. I teach writing.
This entry was posted in College Writing R1A and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to what is the elephant who is the elephant elephants are amazing: when the teacher is the distraction

  1. I love this little episode and the way you tell it. Reminds me of a similar scene with regard to teacher’s passion (mine in this case, the place: Berlin) only a couple of days ago. After the session, a student informs me that she had related my performance to her Facebook friends and that 27 of them had “liked” it which counted as pretty popular in her circles… it’s a different world but I like it.

  2. Jane Hammons says:

    Thanks, Marcus–You know one of the things I love about social media is the unmasking of the teacher. I try to teach in public as often as possible–by which I mean be in the classroom pretty much like I am elsewhere–online, in person, etc. I know that a lot of faculty have concerns about how much to reveal, how much to keep private, etc. And maybe it’s because I hope to retire in a couple of years that I feel I have little at stake in letting students, friends (from all realms) and colleagues, broadly speaking, in on what goes on in my mind (and in my classroom :)

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