An Odd Couple: Darth Vader & Henry David Thoreau

        What do the Dark Lord of the Sith and the Prince of Walden Woods have in common?  Well, for starters, they both, despite the boundaries of death and/or reality, have blogs.
    Yep, that’s right.  Darth and Hank (thanks, Bill) have been blogging regularly for some time now, which leads to several thoughts:

    1.  If "real" people can assume the identities of those who are not (or who aren’t any longer, sorry Mr. Thoreau), then it’s getting even more important that we are teaching our students that they don’t take anything at face value.  Of course, we already do that, right?   The examples I’m talking about have made positive contributions — what kind of negative postings are hiding in the shadows?  (One that I already have seen, but will not link to here, is the "blog" of Terri Schiavo.  It was pretty tasteless.) 
    2.  Imagine the possibilities that such fictive blogs and bloggers can create in our classrooms.  Who else can we  or our students create blogs for?  Is the re-publication of some of Thoreau’s highlights enough to move students into his books?  What other authors are prime for this sort of thing?  How interesting would it be to read the blogs of some of literature’s great characters? 
   3.  Is there a list of these fictive blogs?  Can someone point me to it?  If not, should we start one?

3 thoughts on “An Odd Couple: Darth Vader & Henry David Thoreau

  1. Bud,

    I think your point number 2 has great possibilities. I work with Special Education children. My kids are hard to motivate to write and while I would enjoy taking the role of someone other than myself, I think my kids would, too. Perhaps Thoreau might be a reach, but if they can pick whomever they’d like then that would be a great way to get them to think and put “their” thoughts down.
    Whether they want to be Spongebob, Batman, a Powerpuff Girl, James Bong, George Washington, Tony Hawk, or Dr. Seuss, any opportunity to get the kids to write is great.
    Thanks for the great idea!

  2. Read Ender’s Game (but don’t go further in the series – it’s by Orson Scott Card, whose books noticably decline in quality after the first). The major sub-plot is about children pretending to be adults on a fictional Internet.

    Blogging separates the idea from its proponent. That cuts both ways.

    That’s one (of several) reasons why I don’t like podcasting and video blogging – it inserts personality and subjectivity back into the idea. (i.e. Why should people who have good speaking voices have their ideas given greater attention?) Of course, it’s reasonably argued that text favors the literate and erudite.

  3. Casey – I’m glad to hear that the ideas was useful. Heck — I’d like to take a crack at the Cat in the Hat’s blog. Mr. Sizer — I don’t think that the Ender’s Game series decline in quality as one proceeds — it’s just that the focus of the other books is so different than the first. In my humble opinion, of course.

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