The Dorm Room Cannibal

While my students were busy crafting their horror stories, I wrote one of my own to read on presentation day.

The Dorm Room Cannibal

‘Missing: Russian man disappears from campus.’

Laura rarely ever talked, but her mind was an explosive minefield of thought. She focused her attention on not burdening her few friends with her curiosities for fear that they might leave her. While she had no desire to ‘fit in,’ she wanted to maintain at least one or two relationships to help get her through university. The young intellectual wasn’t too different from her peers; she enjoyed the odd gossip session and chatting about boys. However, her true passion in life was to study the absurdities that were present in the world. She spent countless nights on the internet researching strange topics that popped up in her browser. It was a miracle how her grades didn’t plummet with all her late night internet excursions. Her peculiarities were well shut up and manacled in her mind. People would fear her thoughts. She had to keep them a secret, but every day they seem to become progressively larger.

It was early morning when Laura pushed herself away from the keyboard. The corners of her eyes were crusted with gritty bits of dirt. She attempted to rub the sleep dust away, but it only made the maroon circles under her eyes stick out on her poltergeist-like skin. Her late night romp the night before had forced her to stay up all night to finish a major assignment. She gently massaged her temples and waited for her paper to finish running off the printer. Class was in half an hour and this paper needed to be pressed and stapled. Glancing over at the alarm clock on her radiator, she noted that her greasy locks would have to stay upright for the day. A toque easily solved that predicament.

Wandering the halls, the young woman noted the different people that were going about their days as they passed her. She made a game of guessing what each person was thinking about and always silently hoping that they did not do the same in return. Laura pictured their delicious thoughts; she reached up to brush a bit of thick saliva from her mouth. Her distractions wouldn’t keep her from handing in the paper she slaved over all night.

As she rounded the corner to the classroom building, a savoury scent wafted beneath her nose. She stopped her forward progress to class and allowed the new sensation to envelop her body. Her heart rhythm quickened as she grabbed for the wall to catch herself from falling. Forcing her fallen eyelids open she was met with the face of an angel. A young man with a toothy grin had come over to her.

“Are you alright?” he questioned. Laura’s mind was blurred and words wouldn’t escape her taut lips. “Can you stand?” he said. He extended a hand to her. She nodded her head and reached for his paw. Her legs wobbled when she leaned into him. That enchanting aroma had been emanating from him. She balled up her fist and forced her face away from his delicate neck. “Would you like me to help you home?” Laura drove her teeth in her lip, but still managed to sneak out a little grin.

With the help of the gentleman, Laura made her way back home. In his thick accent he muttered away, but she was so far lost in that cavern of her mind, that her body was just going through the motions. She was plotting. They arrived in front of her door, 526.

“Want to come in?” Laura let out in the meekest voice. She propped the door open with her toe and beckoned the man with her eyes and fox-like grin. Unable to step back into her body, her mind took over. Her fingers slid over a knife on the counter as the foreigner took in her dorm room. “Check my view,” she said. Fighting her mind, Laura tried to throw the knife back onto the counter. Her grip tightened.

While the man was busy glancing out the fifth floor kitchen window, Laura drove the knife deep into his back and cupped a soiled hand over his mouth. His screams were muffled and soon turned to gurgles of blood. He folded over and smashed her head against the window pane. Laura leaned in and ran her tongue along the side of his face. An unfamiliar salt taste grazed her taste buds. All of her inner turmoil ceased. Happily, she hoisted the dead weight up onto her kitchen table. Searching through her kitchen drawers, she found a carving knife, a gift from her Aunt Bev. The skin of her kill was not easily sliced.

Laura feasted for days on her find. The raw meat was fatty, but enough to quench her disturbing thoughts. Each morning she severed off a new limb and tasted the decaying flesh. Her curious mind was sedated with this new experience and found a calm new corner of her brain to chain itself to. It was enough to return her back to her normal net surfing routines.

The police searched for the young Russian man who mysteriously disappeared off campus one afternoon, but eventually gave up when they found no trace of him. The quiet are never suspected.

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Did I grow?

During my pre-internship, I found that I did not do as much growing as I had hoped in terms of my lessons. I was given the opportunity to teach something I am particularly passionate about; horror. My cooperating teacher often had very little to say about my lessons, because they all went well. I had an amazing group of students who let me experiment with them and genuinely tried when I gave them work to do. Because my students were so receptive to my teaching, I challenged them to work with a difficult literary theory and move away from comprehension type activities.

My first lesson was a bit of everything. I had a ‘Drop Everything and Write’ acrostic poem making activity. I noted that students were unfamiliar with creative writing and that had me continue with that activity all the way through my pre-internship. After writing, I had a student come up to the board to help me design a vampire concept map. I used this activity, because I worked well with my grade eight class. However, grade tens are more shy and less inclined to stand in front of the room. I made a point of never doing that again. Through my concept mapping, I noted that the class liked to have group talks rather than individual work. I planned activities that incorporated both into their learning. The end of the class was a reader’s theatre style reading of Dracula. My cooperating teacher had told me that the students would enjoy this style of reading. She was helpful in making my initial lessons plans a success, because she gave me an insight into what worked in her class and what did not. Because of this, I did not have target sheets made up, but just the odd verbal feedback provided. My main critique over the three weeks was about sequencing. However, I cannot document this change just yet. I need to take my horror unit and rework it, and teach it once more.

My growth lesson would be my transition into harder content. Deconstruction is a difficult literary theory that requires a careful mind and a close reading of a text. Thanks to my cooperating teacher’s encouragement, I felt that I was ready to tackle this with my students. After a lesson that warmed us up to the idea, we deconstructed movie clips from popular vampire shows. The students watched each clip twice and then tried to decipher what that minute long clip meant in an intended way and an unintended way. The students focused hard during this lesson and the results were great. Overall, my pre-internship was successful and I am excited to try my horror unit once more.

Slam Poetry and Pop Lyrics

Lesson Plan – Carol Fisher

Period 5: 2:17 PM – 3:20 PM (63 minutes)

Subject: EAL 9

Topic: Using Slam Poetry to Build Confidence

Content: Bacon Slam, What is it?, Roar, Confidence in class, Beasty Boyz, Lyric Slam

Teaching Strategy:

–          I will model

–          Share my own weakness

–          Lead the games

Outcomes:

Students will appear more confident when reading out loud.

Indicators:

–          SWBAT: Allow themselves to get silly

–          SWBAT: Slam lyrics

–          SWBAT: Present to the class

Prerequisite: Attempted to talk in front of a class

Lesson Preparation:

–          Projector

–          Sound

–          Handout

–          Roar Lyrics

Evaluation/Assessment:

Set: Students will understand what slam poetry is and how it can be helpful.

Development: Students will see the positive in reading out loud in class. Students will participate in Beasty Boyz.

Closure: Students will try to slam their lyrics.

Presentation:

Set: (estimated time 10/30 minutes) (10)

–          Open with:

o   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSVO5VloDlc

–          What is slam poetry?

o   It is competitive performance poetry

o   Performance for the audience

o   The best slam poets:

  • Stage Presence
  • Timing
  • Tone
  • Body Language
  • Emoting
  • Metaphor
  • Insight
  • Wit

–          Why is slam helpful?

o   Gives voice

o   Address controversial topics

o   Promotes confidence

o   Fun

o   Community

–          Ms. Fisher will slam the lyrics to Roar – Kay Perry

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Now I’m floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Development: (estimated time 20/30 minutes) (10)

–          How to read confidently in class (wikihow)

1. Always be prepared to read in every class; no matter what the subject area is.

2. Get over any anxiety

– Speak to your best friend

– Time your breathing

– Act like you are doing this for a future job

3. When the teacher calls, take a deep breath and read

4. Think comforting thoughts

– One it is over, it is done

5. Start Reading

– If you don’t feel confident, just pretend you are

6. Increase Reading Ability

– Speak Loudly

– Speak Clearly

– Re-say words you mispronounce

– Look at the audience

– Speak Slowly

– Use Emotion

–          Ask students to find some song lyrics

–          If time permits:

o   Beastie Boys

  • The group begins by chanting a monosyllabic word in unison and a repeatable beat. Initiator says a line that fits within the repeatable beat. The group again recites the monosyllabic chant. The next person in circle says a line that completes a rhyme and ideally is incredibly obvious so that the rest of the group can join in vocally and complete the rhyme. The person who completed the rhyme now becomes the initiator and the process continuesEx:

Group: Na nana na na nanana na

A: I went back home and hung up my hat

Group: Na nana na na nanana na
B: Then I hugged Fluffy my fluffy pet (everyone) CAT

Closure:  (estimated time 30/30 minutes) (10)

–          Have them stand in a circle and practice using their song lyrics

Adaptive Dimensions:

–          Song lyrics

–          Hand out

–          Group

Letter of Introduction for Internship

Dear cooperating teaching,

My name is Carol Fisher, and I am thankful for the opportunity to learn alongside you during my internship semester. I grew up in Swift Current, Saskatchewan and was in the public schooling system in that city. Currently, I am entering my final year of my B.Ed. degree with a major in English and a minor in drama.

Over the past few years, I have been involved with a variety of experiences related to teaching and working with diverse age groups. This past year I was a resident assistant at the University of Regina College West residence. My work for the residence provided me with the opportunity to plan activities for Canadian and international students.

I am interested in working with EAL students inside and outside of the classroom. My long term goal is to become an EAL instructor. I am also interested in helping out with extracurricular drama. One of my areas of specialization is technical theatre. During my high school experience, I was actively involved in the technical crew, especially with properties management and set design. Another extracurricular interest I would love to be involved with is football. I have a strong desire to learn about coaching and team collaboration.

I appreciate you taking the time to have me as an intern this fall. I am looking forward to working with you and growing as a teacher at your school. I will bring an open-minded, positive, and flexible personality to my internship. My largest contributions will be a passion to work with the students at your school and an eagerness to volunteer with extracurricular activities. My hope is to learn more about differentiated instruction.

I will contact you before the end of the school year and work with you to arrange a visit to the school. Once again, thank you for taking me on as an intern this fall. I know that this experience will be very enriching.

Sincerely,

 

Carol Fisher