Friday, September 25, 2009

Shortest Short Story

Scarlatti Tilt
By Richard Brautigan

"It's very hard to live in a studio apartment in San Jose with a man who's learning to play the violin."

That's what she told the police when she handed them the empty revolver.

That's it. Even a sophomore can appreciate the elements of a short story in this one.
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.
This is one great small package. And a great kick-off to a short story unit.
And that is today's lesson.
Oh yeah, you can enjoy the music of a group called Scarlatti Tilt here.
Happy Friday!


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'..."


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.