Teaching Meet Me Halfway

The first major text assigned to my English 215 students is Jennifer Morales' Meet Me Halfway: Milwaukee Stories, a collection of character snapshots that wrestle with identity issues central to the city. This was one of the first works that prompted me to overhaul the syllabus I had been working on. As a longtime resident, the string of police shootings and violence in the city has been a persistent murmur for most of my life in Milwaukee. Watching the live streams from Sherman Park, sufficient explanations continued to evade me. What good is critical analysis to the residents of this neighborhood? I watched the "unrest" (the milquetoast term assigned by the local media) from behind my barricade of books, one eye on the march the other on Huizinga's theories of play. Ridiculous. Once the exam was over, the syllabus was reworked to help work through the amoebic questions that remained. At the time, I had been helping out at People's Bookstore which...
Read More