My first eight week course of the semester is over. The students chose “Hometown” for their final exam topic and there were a lot of really sweet papers. Nostalgia for the hometowns they remembered, homesick yearnings for the town they left so they could come to college, stuff like that.
Not usually what you get in academic papers, but maybe a good start for the second class. It starts on Friday. It’s a lit class. We’re going to read “The Lottery,” Othello, “The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock,” and other classic stuff.
I realized, after setting the class up, that I really have no diversity in the readings. They’re all by white people, none from this century, only one by a woman. I chose them simply because they’re favorites of mine — more familiar, easier. I guess these are the same reasons people usually pick these works instead of choosing things by younger authors or people from underrepresented populations.
Do I go back and add more readings in order to honor diversity in literature? Encourage the students to choose more diverse pieces themselves — even though I didn’t?