A moment occurs in this exchange between professor and student when each of us adopts a look. My look says, “What, you don’t get it?” Theirs says, “We don’t get it. And we think you’re making it up.” We’re having a communication problem. Basically, we’ve all read the same story, but we haven’t used the same analytical apparatus, If you’ve ever spent time in a literature classroom as a student or a professor, you know this moment. It may seem at times as if the professor is either inventing interpretations out of thin air or else performing parlor tricks, a sort of analytical sleight of hand (xiii).Been there. Done that.
Mar 28, 2016
That Moment in the Classroom
Recently while browsing the books at a local Goodwill store, I happened upon a dirt-cheap copy of Thomas C. Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines. Browsing through the introduction, I read the author's description of a typical classroom experience. Although Foster's discipline is literature, it seems that his experiences are not all that different from those in biblical studies. Foster writes,