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Coming Home (?): Notes towards Week 4 Inside (Feb. 24)

Anne Dalke's picture

I. Welcome/sign in/name tags

II. (start by 1:30): Introductions
ask for names, the pronouns you like people to use when talking about you--
and a description of a real or an imagined place that feels like home to you.

III. Rules of engagement/terms of agreement:
handraising/not talking over each other/calling on each other;
be mindful of the energy in the room, & how you are contributing to it;
remember too that what's said here stays here. (Anything else?)

IV. Today we'll finish our discussion of Octavia Butler's novel Kindred,
We want to start with a focus on this question of what makes home.
We described all different kinds of places that are/could be home to us (?).

Let's read aloud what Dana and Kevin say about this,
once they return to the 20th century after a long time away:
p 189: Home...We were home....
p. 190: We were safe. He was home....
He sounded as though he were looking for something, and after five years didn't know where to find it....
"Christ," he muttered. "If I'm not home yet, maybe i don't have a home"....
I stayed where I was, thinking, remembering....
I could recall feeling relief at seeing the house, feeling that I had come home.
And having to stop and correct myself, remind myself that I was in an alien, dangerous place.
I could recall being surprised that I would come to think of such a place as home.
p. 192: ...I've got no love at all for that place, but so help me,
when I saw it again, it was so much like coming home that it scared me."
p. 197: ...why couldn't I have had just a few days...of peace at home?

What makes a place a home?
Why does 19th c. Maryland feel
like home to these two 20th century travelers from California?
Where is their home? Why do you think so?

VI. Let's shift from Dana's relationship to place
to her relationship to her ancestor Rufus.
We started to talk about this last week: why does she keep
on forgiving him for all the abusive things he does?
(To keep him alive til her grandmother is born....)

Let's dig a little more into this topic of
the psychology of their relationship.
How do you understand this?
How then do you understand their last encounter?

read pp. 259-260,
beginning with
"You never hated me, did you?" he asked.
Never for long. I don't know why...." to
p. 260: "I pulled the knife free of him somehow, raised it,
and brought it down again into his back."

V. (by 2:20): Writing
Write about a time when you felt (surprisingly) @ home.
Or write about a time when you refused to forgive (??!!)
Share some of this: no impromptu storytelling:
reading what we wrote.

VI. (by 2:40): conclude
* return last week's writing; collect the new pieces from this week.
* hand out copies of Persepolis:
highlighting the graphic techniques in the first 3 frames
(why draw? )
how to “read” a graphic novel, slowing down and getting all the details.