Friday, September 25, 2009

Shortest Short Story

Scarlatti Tilt
By Richard Brautigan

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"It's very hard to live in a studio apartment in San Jose with a man who's learning to play the violin."
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That's what she told the police when she handed them the empty revolver.

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That's it. Even a sophomore can appreciate the elements of a short story in this one.
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My students love that it requires more thought than reading. They find it somewhat amusing. (That is until you ask them to change the man in the story to a child. Then the story isn't quite so funny.) Theories abound, some of them fairly creative, on what happened.
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This is one great small package. And a great kick-off to a short story unit.
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And that is today's lesson.
Oh yeah, you can enjoy the music of a group called Scarlatti Tilt here.
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Happy Friday!

13 comments:

Gayle said...

I can feel the enjoyment that you get out of teaching! Love it!

Dandy said...

Is it bad that I laughed? I would love tot take a class from you!

2Thinks said...

You are too clever. I want to take your class.

This is the second time one of your posts reminded me of the musical- Chicago.

"....He had it comin'...he had it comin'..."

Heidi

Katie @ Can't Get There said...

All I can picture is a smoking hole in the violin, with a blue-collar guy sitting there in a stained tshirt and ratty chinos, with a cigarette drooping out of his mouth, in shock over the close call. The Mrs. (although probably just a long-time live-in, bitter over there never having been a wedding and resentful of the violin, his true love) standing there in a house dress, just *hoping* the cops take her away. It's like the start of a tv show or something. :)

Puna said...

You most definitely are an English teacher. I'm going to do this exercise with the boy.

Mrs. E said...

Yes, Katie--a lot of students think she shoots the violin, too. I like your visual of this!

Today, a student suggested she called the police and handed the gun over so she wouldn't shoot him!! Kids are so smart. They are still teaching me!

Mrs. E said...

PS. to Heidi-- That song runs through my mind a lot, too! I LOVE that musical!!

joyce said...

The student that handed the gun over to the police before she did shoot him, that's what I've actually done, but not with a gun. I'm glad there are teenagers who understand that the police can help you stay out of trouble in a proactive way.
I do love your lessons though, I would dearly love to go back to school and I'm finding I do here with you sometimes.
(Now you just have to grade us bloggers' assignments!)

margie said...

now wouldn't it be fun if our mrs. e gave us an assignment to do. we could all sign up and then publish our finished pieces on our own blogs!!

Ragamuffin Gal said...

That music is magical.. has a joni mitchell quality to it. You must be an incredible teacher. Fall hugs, kt

Relyn said...

OH my gosh! I am in love with you. When Sloane gets old enough, we're moving so that she can have you for a teacher! Now I'm off to listen to that music.

Alicia said...

i wish i were in your class for this unit! i love studying short stories!!

and ps: the music is beautiful... i'm sure it'll be playing from the website for a couple days :)

Mrs. E said...

I'm glad some of you are enjoying the music. I like it, too. Of course, the sophomores were less than impressed when I played it for them during journal time. Not their usual. I lovingly (or not) refer to their music as rap crap.