About this Blog

The title of this blog, "I'm About to do My Thing," was inspired by Jill Scott's introduction to her poem "The Thickness" from her live album Experience: Jill Scott 826+. In this intro, she warns that the content to follow is "real" and proceeds to deliver a beautiful message about self-esteem in young black girls, what can influence and damage that self-esteem, and the entire village's responsibility--"it takes a village"--to elevate its children.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Each One, Teach One--So Proud of My Students!

The homepage for True Love Conquers All, my students'
website for a discussion of "Desireé’s Baby"
I don't write much about my day job, but I teach college English (mainly core composition and world lit courses). For the last few years, one way I've tried to eject some fun and creativity into my lit courses is to have students do "Remix" presentations: come up with a creative, original spin on an aspect of the day's reading. They do this in pairs and prepare it to present on the day that we discuss whatever text they've signed up for.

Today, we discussed Kate Chopin's short story "Desireé’s Baby." (If you've never read it, think "tragic mulatto" + 19th-century Maury Povich. You can read it here; it's very short. It's got a pretty nice twist at the end!) I was so pleased to have a student pair get so into the subject matter, an important aspect of which is the idea of miscegenation, that they created a whole website with relevant 20th-century material and 21st-century perspectives on biracial children. I was and am so proud and thought you might like to see the product of their hard work.

Because of these students' efforts, their classmates (and others, I hope!) will be able to refer to a concise little collection of material to place this 19th-century story into current perspective. It might even help them to better understand the story. This group really did aim to teach their classmates: something I've always wanted this assignment to accomplish. *Proud teacher*


  1. I love when students surprise you (in a positive way)! I love that assignment, too. Might steal for my African literature class this fall. :-)

  2. Awesome! Good stuff!!!