Book Clubs!

This is my response to last weeks class where we held our own book clubs / socratic seminars.

Book club day in SI 643 is a lot of fun and it was a good way to start of the second leg of this semester.  All of the groups in our book club did a great job leading through their picks and everyone seemed willing to discuss and keep the club moving on point.  This was only my third or so exposure to participating in a book club and it was my very first one where I was expected to not only participate but also to lead one based on questions I come up with.

Although I enjoyed having a partner for this project, I feel that having a partner brings with it some challenges.  I am not sure if it is a case of being better prepared or determining one leader and one back-up but I know I felt at times like I wasn’t sure if I was stepping on my partners toes by talking too much, or too little or what.  This was definitely a good experience though as I have never had to come up with questions for a book club.  That may be one of the hardest parts because questions that you think are amazing turn out to not receive the same type of discussion as you thought and vice-versa.  This probably changes depending on the group you are with and the readings you have though.

Overall, even though I didn’t enjoy reading every book club pick, I did enjoy seeing the different perspectives on running a book club.  I also really enjoyed hearing viewpoints on certain stories.  Many people had very different interpretations than I did for some of the stories which is great because it gives me a framework to think about when I go back and reread these same stories.  Overall I really enjoyed this week and congrats go to everyone!  I’m sure your bookclubs were great!

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4 responses to “Book Clubs!

  1. I know what you mean by the pros and cons of having a partner. I felt like we should have talked / planned more ahead of time about how we were going to go through the questions. I kind of feel like running one of these alone (for this size of group) might have been easier for that type of thing, as well.

  2. We needed to plan better on who should talk and the amount as well. I think we kind of went in with the “Well, we’ll see what happens” thinking instead of making sure our parts were even.

  3. I had a different experience – my partner was really helpful in keeping me on track and lending a different perspective to our questions. (Maybe she feels more like you guys do 🙂 I agree that with a smaller group, a partner host might seem excessive, but think about what it would be like to run a book club in which the participants are strangers. A second host might help to keep the conversational ball rolling!

  4. I agree with all of your points, Rebecca! Working with a partner was helpful in a lot of ways – you came up with a lot of great discussion questions I wouldn’t have thought to ask! But I definitely agree that there were some awkward moments where neither of us was sure who was going to take charge, and it was frustrating when a question we expected to do well fell flat. I still think we did a pretty decent job, though.

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