Bethany K. Dumas
dumasb at UTK.EDU
Tue May 11 01:03:15 UTC 1999
I just taught the most unorthodox course of my career. I had six students
in Appalachian English this semester, five undergraduates and one
Education graduate student. They all entered the class with clear
agendas, so we focused on their thematic concerns more than the elements
of language variation.
The theme of displacement arose early and became our guiding metaphor.
Students did papers on Oak Ridge population displacement, Norris Lake
population displacement, the Ramp Festival in Cosby-- and moonshine and
medical language (drs. vs. patients-- researched by a student who was
taking the course for the second time; since it is a Special Topics
course, one can get by with that). We visited the East TN Hist. Soc'y,
the Museum of Appalachia (where one student discovered that she is related
to the founder/owner, John Rice Irwin), etc. Some of us went to the Ramp
Tonight, for our final class meeting, we had a (vegetarian) potluck
Appalachian dinner -- we had pinto beans (my contribution), greens
(purchased from the Cracker Barrel), cornbread, biscuits, cheese grits,
apple jelly, moonshine jelly -- and chocolate pie! Not a bad way to
end a semester!
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