Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Will Miss You, Mr. Bradbury.



Even though it will already be two years this fall since I left my job as a high school English teacher, at times it seems like yesterday I was in my classroom, teaching American Literature to 15 and 16 year olds. When I was assigned that task- teaching sophomores all about the wonderful works of so many amazing American authors- I felt excited, and a little scared too. I knew I would be tackling a novel in the spring, and it was important for me to find exactly the right one.

So I chose Fahrenheit 451 to read with my kids. Everyday for a month we would crack open our old, 1950s dog-eared copies and read. And listen to Ray Bradbury himself while we did so, hearing the novel read exactly as it was meant to be read, gruff-voiced and enthusiastic. We read about Guy Montag, and Clarisse, and made connections to that life and to this one. And so many of my kids loved it, and so many of them got it- really, really got it.

For five years I experienced Ray Bradbury's genius through so much of his beautiful writing. Along with my students we explored his novels and short stories, and got to see ourselves and society's choices, through all of the eye-opening alternate worlds he created. Hearing news that Mr. Bradbury died today made me sad and nostalgic, but also so grateful that all of the amazing things I was able to read growing up, and still enjoy today, will forever be there for Henry and anyone else who might need a little magic in their life.

I will miss you, Mr. Bradbury.


14 comments:

  1. I just read Fahrenheit 451 this past year in my English class, and he was a great author. He was such an interesting fellow.

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  2. he is one of my favorite authors. such a great mind!

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  3. Fahrenheit 451 is my all-time favorite book, I've read it several times and was actually just thinking of reading it again. The other week we watched "The Playground" episode of Ray Bradbury Theater and I'm not gonna lie, it gave me nightmares!

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing this video Danielle, it brought tears to my eyes. And such a love letter to libraries! I teach a banned books curriculum with the 6th graders at my school and will definitely be showing this video to them next year.

    I'm also typing this as I'm about to run out the door to my first novel writing class that I'm taking this summer- the timing couldn't have been more perfect, I'm feeling so inspired by Mr. Bradbury right now and even though I'm scared to share my writing with this class, I'm going to write that quote about jumping off a cliff inside of my notebook and just go for it! Thanks again for sharing!

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  5. Someone else said today that despite being avid readers in childhood - it was Bradbury that first really made them THINK about what they read and well in everything in life.

    Fahrenheit changed my life at 14. It opened my eyes. It's a masterpiece for young adult literature and never goes out of date. I had a phobia of Aliens as a child and yet I just loved The Martian Chronicles.

    He will be missed. I thank him so much for his contributions to our society. RIP

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  6. I just found out a little bit ago and I was devasted and brought to tears... The video really made me cry, especially that last part, and the thing about the cliff. What wisdom and great advice. It's sad that he's gone.

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  7. Thank you for posting this. He's been one of my favorite authors for years and I was so sad to hear that he had died.

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  8. so sad to hear that he died....i remember reading that book in school. thanks for sharing

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  9. What a beautiful video. I remember reading Fahrenheit as a kid! It should be mandatory reading :)

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  10. Fahrenheit 451 and The Illustrated Man are two of my all time favorites. I even have a Fahrenheit 451 shirt from outofprintclothing.com. RIP Mr.Bradbury

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  11. This post is lovely. I didn't learn about this gentleman at school because I'm a Britainina! BUT I loved this book... my grandmother gave it to me as she often did if I got good marks/grades at school! Loved it but I'd prefer to hear him read it... magical!

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  12. I love reading your blog anyway, but this made my day. ♥ I posted a dedication to Mr. Bradbury yesterday as well: http://www.thevagabondstudio.com/2012/06/we-interrupt-your-normal-posts-forray.html

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  13. That video is awesome, really inspirational. I'll have to check out Farenheit 451!

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