Origin Stories

Friday, in English, spent the period pondering origin stories. What work do they do? How do we tell different versions? What shorthand do they provide, i.e., when someone says “I’m from Boston“, what work does that do? When I talk about my parents having “met in San Francisco in the 1960s” how does that differ from describing a “daughter of Catholic Delco” and the “son of a TV/Radio repairman from the Altoona area”?

I had cooked up this playlist — still working on it — as a way of sharing a few songs about the claims we make about where we come from. I’m sure that folks have other suggestions (my colleagues added a number…).

(Clapper what u know about Drake/Crying emoji x2).

All of this was in service of setting up chapter six of Gatsby, where we meet James Gatz for the first time, and learn the story of what happened before he met Daisy.

A good conversation. At least a portion of the class wanted to get back to the “is this love or is this obsession” conversation; several versions “creepy vs love” and “weird vs. love” emerged.

Next we’ll have the idea vs. reality conversation; is Daisy an ideal, much like Gatsby’s new identity?

I also need to circle back to the new money vs. old money and the markers of class. Always use this video for that discussion; most humans know the feeling of being caught out for various reasons. Like Gatsby — my God the man means to go with us — we likely have some memory, some idea, some lingering embarrassment.