Friday, January 15, 2010

the roaring 20s

next week I start teaching the great gatsby by f. scott fitzgerald to my 10th graders. I didn't realize how much I was looking forward to it until I assigned the initial prereading project asking students to focus on one element from the 1920s to research and present to the class.

while I enjoyed the book in high school, I think that was mostly because I had a naive crush on gatsby and not because I necessarily loved the writing. much of fitzgerald's symbolism exhausts me. but, as we started our research today, I found myself more and more engaged. never would I consider myself an art deco fan, but the more I research it the more I am realizing that *some* of it really is stunning and contributes to some of our country's most prominent architectural achievements.

It also may be my chicago roots, that city's claim to fame was during the 20s with al capone, speakeasies and the constant refusal to abide by prohibition. there is something simple, satisfying and glamorous about 1920's architecture and design.

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