Tutor profile: Madeline O.
Subject: Film and Theater
Why do we as theater people care so much about Brecht? Why is he so important?
Brecht's plays force you into having a real emotional experience that is not prepackaged. The alienation felt in many a Brechtian play is not that audience members are emotionally removed but rather removed from the "stream the character are swimming in" so to speak in order to develop an opinion about what they are seeing. In this way, the audience doesn't have to "play along" with the emotions of the characters in traditional realistic plays (which can lead an audience to accepting really terrible things simply because they are wrapped up in the emotions of the characters). Brecht replaces this conventional empathy with the audience's personal perspective and asks them to think what they individually feel about what they are watching. This approach was revolutionary at the time and set Brecht apart drastically from other playwrights.
How do I start writing an essay when the topic is so broad?
When an initial essay question is broad, we take that as an opportunity to show off our knowledge about something under that wide umbrella. We can start by making a list of what we could talk about and then branch of off that to what we know about each of those topics. As the ideas are flowing, we will organize the bulleted information into paragraph groups so that you can visually see how you are going to organize your paper. By the end of the brainstorming sesh, you will practically have the paper written (with notes on what you need to look further into in order to fill in the gaps).
How do you establish strong classroom management where your students like you but also respect you?
Classroom management looks different for every class, since each group of students are different. Establishing strong classroom management comes with establishing clear expectations and guidelines for how your class functions. The best way to do this is to collaborate with your students on the rules of the room, so they feel that they contributed to the creation of expectations. This way, when there needs to be a discussion about a negative behavior, it is not you coming down on them but rather you being a member of the classroom community alerting them to breaking the group social contract.