Instructors’ Teaching Experience
I used this as an opening text for my class in order to get students thinking about the potential benefit of keeping a reading notebook throughout the semester. We considered the question of what is “important” in a text (important enough to write down, keep) and why. We considered how little, seemingly trivial, details can be very evocative; we picked up on varying patterns in Didion’s notes; and then, we discussed how the details that resonate w/ us, and the patterns we see, can reveal just as much about who we are as readers (our interests, anxieties) as they do the texts we’re reading. This essay worked pretty well, for me, to introduce the notion, early in the class, that reading and writing are self-reflexive activities that provide opportunities for self-discovery, self-construction, etc.