ENG 101-95 Fall 2013

Online ENG 101 at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor ME, taught by John A. (Don't ever, ever ask!) Goldfine

August 27, 2009

Double standard dad

I bought the missus a very cheap point-&-shoot camcorder (under $100) so she can record her work with the horses and load it up for the online horse group she's in.

But my thoughts turned to mischief as they so often do. What about recording some of my lecture material for my online classes?

I set out to record 'Double Standard Dad,' the student piece I begin all my ENG 101s with. It was definitely a learning experience.

First thing I learned was that the dogs are wicked critics. They don't like anything unusual and me sitting reading in a 'serious' voice is unusual. So too is the missus playing cameraman. And they do what they always do when things bother them: act up--wrangling, wrassling, growling, yowling, sitting pretty, and so on. It's hard to concentrate on my reading when five mutts are saying with great determination: 'Cut it out, boss. Stop it, stop it! Attend to us! Enough already!'

Second thing I learned was that, concentrate as I might, I'm not able to project much meaning and sense into the piece as I read it. I can read. I can visualize the material. I read with expression and even drama. But I'm not an actor. The words I'm trying to invest with meaning and emphasis somehow die an inch from my lips and do not go flying out to the listener but instead flop to the ground.

Interesting, distressing! I never realized that before.

(One of the most amazing things I've ever seen was in an old movie called 'Ruggles of Red Gap.' Actor Charles Laughton recites the Gettysburg Address--one almost cries at Lincoln's words and Laughton's voice and expression. They say a good actor can read the phone book aloud and bring an audience to tears.... I'm no Charles Laughton!)

Anyway, here's it is:

Next video post, maybe I'll tell you the five rules of good writing (yes, only five!) and that may give a hint why I read this student essay aloud for all my ENG 101 classes.

Feel free to comment if you want, but no obligation.


Blogger mbires33 said...

You know, or actually you will once you have read this, that my dog is what I consider neurotic when it comes to change and with him being a Golden Retriever it's almost contradictory to his breed. I find your affection for your dogs endearing, as my Mother and Father have 4 small dogs themselves. They are great companions and know "good people" and they definately know routine. Good work by far and I really enjoy your style of teaching! I don't care for Double Standard Dad, sorry.

August 26, 2008 9:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

As I said in class, my wife and a colleague I respect both tell me to dump 'Double Standard Dad'--but I love it too much. But that's okay! I like strong opinions that disagree with mine. I better, with my wife around--45 years an item and we still don't agree on much....

August 26, 2008 12:00 PM  
Blogger Burke N. said...

Thats gotta be a record for sittin' pretty. Give that pup a bone or something!

September 14, 2008 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Kaileigh said...

Wow, I love how in the video the dog is actually sitting there the whole time. He even kinda stands on his back legs, now that is neat. I my self have a little black lab/pitbull mix and he tends to sit and stare at me when i do my homework. I could never fiqure out why

September 05, 2009 7:16 PM  
Blogger Tori said...

Never drop that story. I can't explain but I loved the way she put it all together. I couldn't agree more. There are such double standards between men and women, sons and daughters. She summed it all up in one story. I wish I could write like that. I often have an idea in my head and talk it through and it sounds great; then, i go to print it out and it's lost.

January 25, 2010 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer Antone said...

Aw! So cute! Hoe on earth did you train the dog to sit there and listen? Wow! Good work!

May 11, 2010 12:56 PM  
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Blogger Jayme-Lynn said...

I actually laughed out loud listening to your "double standard dad" story. It reminded me of my grandfather, and all the stories told by my parents. I have a 12 week old Shih tzu, and i think she would still stare at me with much interest of what i'm saying with her head cocked off sideways, even if i was speaking gibberish.

August 29, 2011 11:01 PM  
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