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2009年6月

"Longing" by Matthew Arnold

2009.06.29

The third grade students did some pretty funny and interesting stuff with the poem "Longing" by Matthew Arnold.

Here's the original:

Longing
by Matthew Arnold

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth,
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say, My love why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

I put the students into groups and asked them to translate the poem into the more modern English. Here are the results.

Group 1:

I want you!!

If you come into my dream,
I'll be happy and you will make my day.

Come to me!! You angel!
You smile to the world with the
same smile you did to me.

To tell you the truth, I want you to
part my hair, kiss me, and care about me.

I love you!!

Love me!!!

Group 2:

I just want to dream about you.
And some day I will be happy again.
Time dreaming about you can cure
my hopeless, lonely heart, and days.

Please come a thousand times to my dreams (or me)
Dear angel from heaven.
She smiles beautifully to everyone, and also
She smiles as same to me!
She's kind.

Please open your heart, and be truthful to me.
Please come to me, and I want this dream to
really happen.
Touch my hair, and kiss me.
And ask me, why are you depressed?

I just want to dream about you.
And someday I will be happy again.
Time, dreaming about you can cure
my hopeless, lonely heart, and days.

(On a side note, Group 2 also included the line:

touch my body put me on the floor
wrestle me around, play with me some more.

However, I don't think that was originally intended for their poem.)

Group 3:

Hey, come into my dream!
Then I'd be happy, yay!
At night I'm too excited
at daytime I'm doomed.

I feel like you came here a thousand times
your (sic) like an angel from heaven.
And smile to me and be kind.
just like you do to others.

Even though you never came here
Please! Come right now
and touch my hair, kiss my forehead
and ask me, "What's wrong with you?"

These have been reproduced here exactly as they were written, errors and all, to give an idea how my students are doing.

I thought these were very funny.

投稿者:nelp

First Term - Second Half

2009.06.28

I've been extremely busy since the mid-term, finishing the last of the major work on the junior high curriculum, working on my final exam review sheets and a staggering NINE final exams, preparing 49 students for the junior high school speech contest, and beginning preliminary work on the new curriculum for the high school program.

Since the mid-term exams, each grade has covered four readings.

The first grade started with a poem called "Rebecca Grimes", and the students gave fun presentations about getting in trouble at school. Their second reading was a short science fiction story by Ray Bradbury called "All Summer in a Day", which led into a discussion about bullying. We then read a short article about Australian marathon runner Cliff Young, who showed up for a Sydney to Melbourne marathon wearing overalls and gumboots. Our final article was from the US TV talk show "Oprah Winfrey" and was called "How Does It Feel". It was a short article about a young man who disappeared from an airport shortly before embarking on his honeymoon, only to be found three days later, wandering the streets with amnesia. This led us to a discussion about people who ran away from their weddings, in one case faking an abduction. It also led us to the story of Benjaman Kyle, a man who has suffered amnesia for the last five years, and despite a nationwide effort, remains unidentified.

The second grade began the half-term with the poem "The Wayfarer" by Stephen Crane. We used this poem to talk about symbolism, but also talked at length about why it is sometimes difficult for people to pursue the truth. We followed this with the traditional story "Stone Soup" about three soldiers returning home from a war who trick the people of a village into making soup for them: a trick that ultimately brings joy to the villagers. This led us into a variety of discussions, covering everything from the Hoovervilles of The Great Depression in the United States, to the poem "The Vision of Sir Launfal" by James Russell Lowell, about a wealthy knight who learns humility and piety from a beggar. We then read a short article called "Fungus Brings Dinosaurs Fate to the Frogs", about how a fungus may wipe out all frogs within twenty-five years. Interestingly, one our third graders used this article as the basis for her speech in the speech contest (and did a really excellent job of it). Finally, we read the complete speech "I Have a Dream" by Martin Luther King Jr., and watched the video of his speech. This led to a discussion about our dreams for the future.

The third grad began the half-term with the poem "Longing" by Matthew Arnold. We had a good discussion about longing and pining and unrequited love, and our third graders rewrote the poem in English (something I've been forgetting to publish here). This was followed by the short story "The Faery Handbag" by Kelly Link. Unfortunately, we were really unable to have a proper discussion about this as it seems most of the class didn't actually read it. I am, however, happy to report that a number of students have since gone back and read it properly. This was followed by the short article "Quenched Fire Found in Greenland Ice" about the explosion of Mt. Mazama 7,000 years ago. We finished the term with "Inside Africa's Playstation War", an article about how our desire for cell phones and playsations is increasing demand for a rare metal called Tantalum, and thereby creating instability and war in Central Africa. We then had a great discussion about other products and resources that cause war or other problems in the world. The students did a fantastic job talking about the article and the issues raised by the article. I was extremely impressed with them.

投稿者:nelp

Update

2009.06.02

It's been about a month since my last update. I've spent the last four weeks finishing the review sheets for my four mid-term exams, finishing the actual four mid-term exams, and then finishing the basic work for the rest of the term. I'm now in the middle of making review sheets for the final exams.

I actually don't have time to update, but I'll update a little anyway.

We started off the the week with a blast.

First grade is reading a poem called "Rebecca Grimes" which starts off "I have to write one hundred times 'I Will Not Tease Rebecca Grimes'". Today, as our speaking activities, our students had to tell about something bad they did at school that they got punished for, but with the option to make up a story (if they were shy or particularly good) and have us guess if it was real or not. Most students at first made up a story, but later we got to the good stuff. I won't write any of it here, but I never did get to hear what happened to a certain rabbit. I also got a great picture of the first graders making goofy looks but have promised on pain of death never to publish it on the web.

Second grade is reading a great poem by Stephen Crane called "The Wayfarer". It goes:
The wayfarer,
Perceiving the pathway to truth,
Was struck with astonishment.
It was thickly grown with weeds.
"Ha," he said,
"I see that none has passed here
In a long time."
Later he saw that each weed
Was a singular knife.
"Well," he mumbled at last,
"Doubtless there are other roads."

We definitely got a lot of mileage out of it, talking about symbolism and truth and ethics.

The third graders did a poem by Matthew Arnold (who in my mind shall forever be confused with Andrew Marvel - and one of them should definitely change his name) called "Longing":

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth,
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say, My love why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

I owe a special thanks here to my friend William who, approximately 20 years ago, loaned me a tape of the soundtrack to the TV series "Beauty and the Beast" which included actor Ron Perlman reciting this very poem.

I asked my third graders today to rewrite the poem into modern English and I hope to share the results with you soon.

投稿者:nelp