October 19, 2016

COURSES

During the past few years, I have offered private courses to the Austin homeschooling community. I have also offered some of these courses through Hill Country Academy and Austin Community College.

The participants tell me they enjoy the boldness of my choices, the gusto my presentation, and living knowledge they gain. I like to take participants on excursions–to museums, concerts, plays, Barton Springs–to enhance our experience. We use and produce multimedia projects, including photos, video, music, and theater.

I’ve done several successful creative writing classes, and a creators’ salon in which we explored Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five and then wrote and recorded an original song inspired by the novel.  Whenever the narrator encounters horror or banality, he quips, “So it goes.” So that’s why we called our song, “So It Goes” 

 

SAS at Starbucks cropped

In the not-quite-a-course department, I like to stage “happenings,” events that combine literature, music, theater, and generalized revelry. For example, during 2015-16, I produced two celebrations of American poetry, one for Emily Dickinson, and one for Allen Ginsberg, each hosted by Malvern Books. Each event featured audience members reading poetry aloud, moderated discussion, and music.  

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” we had audience members each read a strophe from the first section of the poem: “I saw the best minds of my generation…”

Then I delivered the second part of the poem, known as “Moloch,” channeling Ian McShane and a fallen preacher leaving the Baptist church:  “Moloch” (contains profanity).

And finally, my collaborator, W. Joe Hoppe, led us all in a call-and-response of the poem’s loving finale: “I am with you in Rockland…”

 

SOME OF THE COURSES I’VE DESIGNED

    • American Literature, Colonization to Present
    • British Literature, Beowulf to Present
    • World Literature, Gilgamesh to Present
    • English Composition: Argumentation, Evaluation, Expression
    • English Composition: Writing About Literature
    • Creative Writing: Poetry, Fiction, Drama
    • The Beat Generation
    • British Romanticism
    • Uses and Abuses of Power (American, British, and World Literature)
    • The Satanic Verses and World Religion
    • The American Civil War
    • Making History: America and World War II
    • American History, Colonization to the Civil War
    • Modernist American Poets
    • Literature of the American South, Colonization to Present
    • Literature of Temptation (World Literature)
    • American Literature of the 20th Century
    • British Poetry, Shakespeare to Milton
    • Lord Byron and Byromania
    • John Milton and His Descendants
    • History of England, Henry VIII to Charles II
    • Greek Mythology at the Source
    • Connections: History of Science and Culture
    • Stories from the Road (Children’s Literature and Adaptations)
    • Literature of Troublemakers (Children’s Literature and Adaptations)
    • The Hunger Games and Beyond, Dystopian Literature
    • Heroes and Their Journeys (Children’s Literature and Adaptations)
    • A Survey of Childhood and Children’s Literature, 1600 to Present
    • People and Animals (Children’s Literature and Adaptations)
    • Star Wars and Its Fathers
    • Emily Dickinson Sunday: A Celebration
    • Howl: A Celebration of Allen Ginsberg’s Poem
    • Confessional Poetry and Memoir
    • History of English and Dictionaries
    • The Structure and Function of Popular Song
    • Excursions: Writing about Experience
    • Slaughterhouse Five: A Creators’ Salon