Instructor's Teaching Experience:
My teaching experience was very good. I taught this to two very different classes as our first text and, while both classes had very different perspectives and conversations, this text continued to be part of our conversation throughout the entire semester.
Because this text is focused on a location and it was our first text, I first focused on “sense of place” and the relationship between Didion and the Hoover Dam. We looked for moments that describe this relationship.
Because Didion’s writing is very meditative. I show them a virtual tour of the Hoover Dam. The video is purely visual and while it plays, I read facts about the building of the dam, the cost, the engineering mechanics, the benefits, the negative outcomes of the dam, the architecture, and just how big it is. A lot of students really enjoy learning about the history of the dam.
Finally, since it is a short essay (five paragraphs), it’s really easy to break up for groups to break down her use of imagery but also her organizational logic.
Text: “At the Dam