Today I get to teach Macaulay's _Minute on Indian Education_ (I'm going to have them debate whether or not it's worthwhile spending money on supporting Sanskrit and Arabic in a colonized country -- should be fun talking about the value of culture, ethics of colonizing, etc.) and Kipling's "The Man Who Would Be King" (always fun to read about arrogant fools, and any story that culminates in a woman biting a man and discovering he isn't actually a god is good in my book).
And in my other class, Sheree Rene Thomas's intro to Dark Matter, a recap of RaceFail '09, Jay Smooth's video on "How to Tell People They Sound Racist," and my own brief racism / privilege 101 post at Scalzi's blog, Whatever. I find that if I start the semester off with this kind of framing, it makes it a lot easier to have nuanced conversations about race in SF/F.
Hm. Just realized that if I organized things slightly differently, I could teach Conan the Barbarian ("Queen of the Black Coast") in *both* classes on the same day. Funny. :-)
Okay, teaching is winning over nap; it's just more interesting. Off to make up a template for their passage presentations -- they always want to do summaries of the stories, which is not at all useful. I'm always a little surprised how unfamiliar many of them seem to be with close reading, esp. since I can see that Kavya, in 2nd grade, is already starting to learn how to do it (I think as part of the Common Core program?). It's such an essential skill, I would expect that high schools would emphasize it through all four years of English -- but apparently, not across the board.