Thursday, January 05, 2012

Time-traveling visitor · 365 Project

Time-traveling visitor by Rondi Aastrup · 365 Project

We had a time-traveling visitor in my AP English class today.  "Jonathan Edwards" came to give us a piece of his Puritan mind and preached portions of his famous (or infamous) sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."  I always find it oddly exhilarating to teach this sermon.  Most of the time, I preach it, but we have a pastor here who is very good with this kind of thing and he had a good time getting into character.  He had the kids close their eyes and imagine they were in the setting in Enfield, CT on July 8, 1741.  Amazingly, none of them fell asleep while they listened with their eyes closed for a good 15 minutes while he railed at them and told them they were going to hell!
Of course I never leave it there, and neither did he.  We had an interesting discussion afterwards about why the Puritans believed the way they did, and how his understanding is vastly different.  After he left, the students read Anne Sexton's lovely poem "Small Wire" that has similar language, but an entirely different application.  They had some interesting reactions while comparing the two pieces.  Some days, it's such fun in the classroom!

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