A couple of updates on blog projects here. First, the Monkey Bridge Weblog which featured responses to student questions by the author of the book has been pretty successful. I’ve been enouraging the teachers to get their students to talk about some of the information the author related in the answers, like this one:
Monkey Bridge was written when my own mother was sick. I had always wanted to write a book about Vietnam, where I was born, especially when I realized how many books about Vietnam have been written, but none by a Vietnamese American. However, my first version of the book, written in the late 1980s, was not to my liking because I found that it was too much about the politics of the war. It was too eager to make a point (my point) about the war, and not enough about human interactions, the intricacies, nuances, ambiguities that characterize much of human interaction on a daily level. I then set that draft aside and basically let go of it. In 1992, my mother fell ill, making me think a lot about my relationship with her – hence I wrote Monkey Bridge – which is primarily for me about mothers/daughters. This one just happen to be set within the context of an immigrant story and the context of the aftermath of the war in Vietnam. But it is for me a story about a mother’s relationship with her daughter.
That is some good stuff, and I would hope students could explore their own relationships with their mothers in the context of current issues. We’ll see.
And, the Chinese class has been using Weblogs to post advertisements they have made along with voiceovers. Unfortunately, they didn’t think too much about background noise while they were recording, but the process was really easy and the teacher is thrilled. Here are a few of the better ones. Very cool to see these ideas branching out.