About lacimetta

English teacher, mum, blogger, interested in Web 2.0 and its impact on learning, education & literature.

5F Kerouac’s On The Road

IMG_0888The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Dear students, we started  our academic year with  the Romantic poets and “Mad Shelley” . Now it’s the end of our  English class together and  (quoting Shakespeare) “the wheel has come full circle”.

As usual while I was preparing your next lesson I had a look at You Tube and found some incredible videos. I find it so incredibly interesting when I can “give VOICE, MUSIC & FACES” to all the concepts and books I had studied and read but never … seen alive if not in my imagination. Your approach to this topic and this last author of ours is going to be so different from mine. You can now hear Kerouac’s voice while he reads his own work ( so fundamental to appreciate the “beat” and flow!), you can  see him and the images of New York in the background, you can have it explained sitting at your desk and have a taste of Jazz music. I really hope you’ll appreciate all this and one day…while driving around the USA, you’ll … remember your “crazy” teacher of English 🙂

Dal programma Cult Book in italiano ( la pronuncia di Kerouac e’ errata. Corretta = Keruac)

The next Clip is an American introduction to the author and book. Lovely jazz music in the background. ““I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”

Jack Kerouac, interviewed by William F. Buckley Jr. from a documentary on the soul of the Beat Generation. 
Beat, (a)politics, (non)hippies, drunkenness and television.. 
”Everything is going to the beat — It’s the beat generation, it be-at, it’s the beat to keep, it’s the beat of the heart, it’s being beat and down in the world and like old-time lowdown and like in ancient civilizations the slave boatmen rowing galleys to a beat and servants spinning pottery to a beat…” Jack Kerouac – Desolation Angels

This is the link to  GOOGLE MAP of Kerouac’s On the Road.

Kerouac reading the last page of “On the Road” with pictures of Jack and Neal.

I even came across a video of Johnny Depp reading Kerouac ( you never know what you’ll end up with while searching YouTube!!), a strange interpretation of his philosophy of  living for “kicks”. It certainly conveys that psychedelic atmosphere.

Infine ecco the Beat generation in Wikipedia. Un doveroso omaggio a Fernanda Pivano che ci ha lasciati il 18 agosto 2009 e grazie alla quale l’Italia ha conosciuto gli scrittori e la letteratura americana. Una grande donna, non so se ne parlerete mai in Italiano ma non può venire dimenticata!

I cannot help adding also some stunning photos of Big Sur. I drove from L.A. to San Francisco in 1988 and still haven’t forgotten those fantastic views. Should you go to California one day you cannot miss the City Light Bookstore in San Francisco

TASK: Next time, after finishing our module on the Beat Generation leave your “last optional” comment to this post of your English literature class 😉



2M Talking paintings

As in our textbook Performer2, the Unit 8 dealt with forms of art, tattoos & painting, I decided to modify the assignment “Choose a famous painting or photograph that your really love or hate & discuss it with a classmate” by adding to the oral and written task also a digital one.

Working in groups and assigning to the rest of the students a reading task that was meant to keep the class in silence – instead, as you can hear, there was an inevitable hubbub in the background … my classes are definitely not silent places 🙂 – we recorded their descriptions using the app Fotobabble and my iPad. ( here’s my vocal tutorial) Of course, having 29 students I couldn’t record everybody and students should do it by themselves; nevertheless, since they’re now under a lot of pressure with daily tests in other subjects, I decided not to claim the extra effort of a further website sign up and opted for recording just a few. Mind: not the linguistically “stronger & best ones” – no need to show off!! what for? we appreciate diversity and we learn by making mistakes –  but chosen at random using a Random Picker.  We had fun! The only flaw is the short time (one minute) allowed to the “free version” which implied simplifying their descriptions and sometimes led to an abrupt ending. There’s plenty of time to improve! Plus, next time we’ll be using a different app.

The first is a photo by Mc Curry Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984, whose stunning exhibition we could see in Pordenone.

The lovers by Magritte

Starry Night by van Gogh

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

Guernica by Pablo Picasso

Lunch atop a skyscraper by Charles Ebbets