Everyone managed to finish Things Fall Apart despite our previous problem at least well enough to pass the test. I combined a take-home multiple choice test I brazenly borrowed from the internet along with an idea of Carol Jago's. She has students write poems in parts as one way to respond to literature. We dusted off Greg Orr's "Gathering the Bones" together and reminded ourselves of what good poems do (I had a lot of questions about rhyming, sadly). They then wrote their own-seven part poems that summed up some of the major themes and characters of Things Fall Apart and the work most of them turned in was both creative and accurate. I especially loved one student's re-writing of the theme song from Fresh Prince.
After they finished their tests, we watched Invisible Children's video about Joseph Kony. I know you readers out in internet-land have access to Teh Google and probably saw the video before I did, so I'll spare you a summary. Then we read some of the criticism about Invisible Children's methods and discussed if how privilege affects our way of understanding problems and possible solutions. One kid at the end asked what did any of this have to do with Things Fall Apart since it deals with Nigeria and Kony was most active in Uganda (points to that kid for knowing the difference!). Another student piped up that they were both about the ways in which Europeans cut up boundaries without understanding what's going on with the people who actually live there.
Livin' the dream, y'all. Livin' the dream.