[The Spring 2022 semester was in some ways more “normal” than the last few have been, but in many other ways just as difficult, if not indeed more so. But y’all know me well enough to know that I’m not going to focus on the challenges in this week’s series, but rather on individual discussions in each of my classes that reminded me of why we do what we do!]
Anyone who’s read this blog over the last few years knows how much I stan two particular 21st century American short stories: Danielle Evans’ “Boys Go to Jupiter” and Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s “Control Negro.” So it will come as no surprise that the student responses to and conversations about those two stories in my online Short Story section this semester were highlights. But this time I was equally struck by the consistently thoughtful and nuanced takes on another phenomenal 21st century story, Cristina Henriquez’s “Everything is Far from Here.” I don’t know of any piece of writing—in any genre—that both allows and forces us to grapple with the unfolding histories and realities of our immigration policies than does Henriquez’s, and the students did that grappling in their posts (as well, in many cases, as in their close reading Short Papers), while paying close attention to the writing choices and elements through which Henriquez creates that stunning story. The chance to share such a text and create space for such responses and conversations is, quite simply, a huge part of why I do what I do.
Special weekend post tomorrow,
PS. What do you think? Spring semester reflections (in all tones) you’d share?