Breaking Her Fall Novel Reading and Author Visit Debrief:

For this week's blog, you will reflect on our experience reading and discussing Breaking Her Fall.  In your initial post, please give your thoughts on any combination of the following
- response to / connections with the novel
- most interesting aspect of our novel study (activity, discussion, etc.)
- thoughts on the author visit
- thoughts on participation in PEN/Faulkner program
- opinion on whether I should teach the novel to future classes
- other relevant thoughts

Your initial post and comments on other posts are due by 11:59pm on Monday, April 16, 2012.  Remember, you must offer at least two comments on other posts. 
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  • Anthony Sterling

    I really do like the opportunity to meet the author, because we personally get to hear their insights of the book they have written, why did they chose to write the book, and give them a idea on how we analyze the book. The author visit was cool, the author Stephen Goodwin, told us when writters start writting the book they don't have an idea how they want to finish it. As a result, I guess writters want to be creative and mix the story up to surprise the reader. My response to the novel Breaking Her Fall, is that I'm glad that Jed came to his senses and admitted that he just want the case to be over with, because he was tired of the process of keep having meetings and disputes, and he ended up wanting to drop the criminal case against Tucker. I also believe that Kat is a good friend to Abby, although Abby stop talking to Kat and ignoring her for Jed, when Abby became pregnant and needed someone to comfort her, Kat ended up being there for her, in a time of need. Tucker and Lily secret love affair, surprise me, because I would expect Lily's character would have done that, being married with a kid. In addition to the affair, I predicted that they was going to get caught. Be her husband Tony.

    4/11/2012 9:51:46 PM
  • Kendra

    Participating in the PEN/Faulkner program is really a good opportunity because it allows you to gain so much more insight on the novels and the process that the author went to to actually write these stories. In addition to that, you also get to learn whether they had any inspiration for the novel or specific characters and settings. I think the author's visit was nice because this was the first author who really engaged us and wanted to know what we thought, rather than us asking questions and them answering. I also thought that the novel was very interesting because it was something that we could all connect to. The over protective male figure in our lives, sexual acts at parties and the rumors that spread. I also liked how it incorporated the law too. In addition to that, because it was written in the point of view from the Tucker (Dad) it made it much more interesting because you never know what the parents in these situations think.

    4/12/2012 9:47:59 PM
  • Ambre Ellison

    One of the most interesting parts of discussing the novel Breaking Her Fall was watching the documentary "The Purity Myth". Our discussion in class included what we thought of purity and how society views it through different lenses. The purity myth is the myth that women's sexual actions define them as a person and that their moral conscience and over all intelligence does not count. It was interesting to see what everyone in the class had to say about purity. We all seemed to be sort of on the same page about how women are over sexualized in society. It really made you step back and see what Tucker really was thinking as a father fearing for his daughter in a society where sex sells. A father’s job is to protect their young and that job becomes more difficult with girls. Pop culture seemed to be the biggest influence on whether women stay abstinent or lose their virginity's. Stars like Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus (huge teenage celebrities) are expected to stay abstinent because of their stereotypical "Pure Look". Learning about the purity myth and reading breaking her fall was a home run. Tucker must felt a lot of pressure to protect his daughter and it got worse as she grew into her teens.

    4/13/2012 3:52:20 PM
  • Taylor Middleton

    The author's visit was very interesting and informative. The author's responses answer the quesion and then connected to other other daily aspects of our lives. He was very detailed in his answers which gave me the conclusion as to why Tucker made sure he was very detailed in his answers. The connection I can make to the novel is having to lie to parents in order to do something. Sometimes parents can be over protetive and children may see it as somethering especially when the parent are strict with rules. It makes the child become scared of the parent and instead of telling them where they are going, they lie and sometimes end up in situations like Kat. Due to that I have learned that it is better to tell the truth than to put yourself in danger. The most interesting aspect of the novel was the conversation between Tucker and Will. I was impressed how Will would use his father's rules against him whil in a disagreement and will still stick up for himself. I highly recommend that this book be taught to future classes due to the realism of the book and the suspense it gives the reader to keep reading.

    4/13/2012 9:48:30 PM
  • Taylor Middleton

    @Anthony I agree with your statement on thinking that Tucker and Lily was goin to get aught because I did as well. Howeer, when Tucker had described Lily when she first came into the story, I figured that she was probably a hot number. With the statement about authors wanting to be creative wiht their stories, I also thhink that not coming in with a solid plot makes it easier for ideas to flow and have the story put itself together.

    4/13/2012 9:52:27 PM
  • Mark Owens

    From the author visit I found his reason for writing the book unexpected, when he was talking about the incident at a little league baseball game, it shocked me. He continued talking but still that was what stood out to me, and he reflects his own characters when he stated that these characters don’t know where they’re going. The way he talked reminded me of his characterization for his own characters. His style of writing was to try to become a parent inside of this novel. He succeeded; until he came to visit I did not realize how much in common my mother and Tucker have in common, always wanting updates from me, for example everyday when I come from school my mother asks “How was school?” I reply “Good.” And she wants to know more. It’s not annoying but it’s very parental.

    @Ambre, I like that connection to the discussion although something’s that video stated threw me off completely and made me feel very uncomfortable never the less it was still a nice connection and discussion.

    4/16/2012 2:16:07 AM
  • April G.

    The novel as a whole reminds me of how parents can be overprotective and are not aware of their actions. It also reminds me of my relationship with my father. The only difference is that I didn't cause the problem and that I didn't get depressed and rowdy with my parents like Kat did.
    The most interesting aspect of the novel was when the author was speaking about his writing process because even though he wrote the book and knew things about it, he needed visuals to help him understand what Kat looked like. That made me wonder what processes do authors go through to come to and end of a book. The author said that he didn't know exactly where he was headed with the book but it made me wonder do some authors have a goal ending in mind.
    I thought that the author visit was good because it showed me how well associated an author is with their books. Mr. Goodwin was elaborate and thorough with explanations, like the narrator of Breaking Her Fall; the two may be nothing alike but they have that connection. I believe that the PEN/Faulkner program is a useful program because it is a way to get questions answered that may have left a gap in the reader's understanding. The program also allows the class to compare different authors and get an idea of the writing process, which is valuable to some students. I believe you should keep it around because it can help students understand things better. For example, I would have never known why Tucker was so descriptive about every thing had I not heard the author speak thoroughly about the book. Even though the author gave an explanation as to why Tucker was so elaborate, it helped me to realize that Tucker's explanations related to the author himself by having him come in and speak about it.

    I agree with Kendra about getting to see whether or not the author was inspired of not. The author visits allows us to see things from the authors point of view. We get to hear about the process that authors go through and because there are more than one visits you can get a broad idea of what goes on in authors minds while writing.
    I can relate to Taylor's connection about having to lie to overprotective parents. I don't think it is ever a good idea to lie to your parents about where you are going or what you are doing for safety reasons but sometimes you don't realize that your actions can be effecting those around you and can really stare up some trouble like Kat's actions did. And like Taylor said this situation teaches a life lesson about being honest.

    4/16/2012 10:58:31 PM
  • Nia Jo

    I thought that the most interesting aspect or discussion of the novel was trying to see if things would be different had Will been the one in trouble instead of Kat, reasons being because they are different sexes and Tucker reacts to them both differently. Another interesting aspect of the novel was discussing the fact that Tucker had over analyzed things. His thoughts would often spiral off and make things a little difficult to understand. The author's visit showed that very much, as well. He was very detailed when he answered our questions and would often compare things in his answers to outside information he had or books he read, but I really liked his visit because he had made us see things from the view of parents instead of only making us see things from our own point of view the entire time.

    I think the students next year will be excited to get author visits. It was a really great experience and it made me appreciate the novel even more when actually seeing how the author viewed the book and how their opinions varied or were similar to ours.

    @Taylor, I agree with you to the full extent. The author reminded me, as well, of Tucker because he was very descriptive and he often made us see things form a totally different view. Personally, he opened my eyes up to a lot of things that I was close minded to at first.

    4/20/2012 10:14:33 AM
  • Katia Phillips

    I can make a connection to the story because just like Kat’s father any girl’s father will be over protective and do anything to protect their child. In the eyes of Tucker, all his actions had acceptable reasons therefore he could not find any meaning to why he was being sued. It became interesting though because in the mist of the novel Kat seems to accept all the wrong that she done and did not want any sympathy from no one. She accepted and told her father what happened at the party and took complete responsibility which is out of ordinary to what a normal teenager would do or would have done. A normal teenager would try to take the easy way out and not want the responsibility. This was all discussed at the author visited because every student could an d did relate to how or why Tucker may have done everything in his power and reasoning to protect his daughter.

    5/1/2012 8:42:54 AM
  • Katia Phillips

    I agree the author gave insight to how he did not originally have a plan. He just started writing and was just writing until he found a finish. he really engaged with us and wanted to know what we thought of his work and how or can we relate to how Tucker was feeling and trying to protect his daughter.

    5/1/2012 8:54:16 AM
  • Taylor Middleton

    @Nia I agree I too think the students will be excited about the author's visit. They may be able to take more from them and have the opportunity to see what the author was thinking when writng the novel. Even though we overly analyzed some parts of certain novels, them having this experience may be only once in a lifetime.

    5/1/2012 9:02:11 AM
  • Shamir Fauntleroy

    I think that this book is one that you should teach in the future as it brings out the realities of teenage situations or the scars of "having fun". It also touches on how one mistake/incident from one point view seems to be small is actually large in anothers(Jed's Dad vs. Kat's Dad). The class in which we discussed purity and double standards between males and women sparked a great class discussion which I think can be beneficial to future AP Literature classes participation wise and by helping the class to think more deeply into gender roles.

    As far as the pen faulkner visits go I feel that hearing the different writting strategies were good but, everything else is superfluous. Finding out where the characters are now in the author's head and other questions that were meant to be unanswered are very disappointing and in my opinion a waste of time. I mean obviously in my opinion if an author has children and they write about being a parent or through the eyes of a child then, of course their writting is drawn from personal experience. However, hearing their process in producing the idea of the book itself and their methods to writting were very interesting.

    5/2/2012 12:21:14 AM
  • Tyquan Myrick

    I enjoyed meeting the author because i began to see how the writing process is for most authors. They take things one step at a time and pull trinkets and significant symbols in their own lives to influence characters and their decisions. the fact that the author had so many relatable stories and other novels showed me that he also allowed those to influence him as well. i think that you should teach other classes novels because before i wondered how or what process an author went through when they would write an enitre book.

    5/11/2012 9:03:42 AM
  • Tyquan Myrick

    @shamir i agree about the one sided perspective. it would be impossobl for him to trul know how to write from a childs perspective without him actually being pne and because of that biased i think he made a smart decision not going into kat's thoughts too muh.

    5/11/2012 9:05:48 AM
  • Anthony

    @Katia, I agree that normal teenagers tries to find the easy way out of situations and don't take on their full responsiblities as growing adults. Kat surprised me also because I would'nt expect that she said that it was her fault and she chose to do those things. Today teenagers would most commonly play the victim and blame their wrong doings on someone else, however Kat took the blame for herself and came out and told her father the truth.

    5/14/2012 9:12:12 AM
  • Tyquan Myrick

    I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Pen/Faulkner program because i never would have thought tha my questions on a book would ever be answered until we met the author. i enjoyed the book as whole because it taught life lessons and that only added to my list of wquestions during the author visit. i enjoyed having them here hower ever it became quite apparent that my question never truly would be answred because he was biased as a parent so he couldnt really advocate for any other character but Tucker. Still, i enjoyed and do think it should be taught in the future.

    5/14/2012 9:13:47 AM
  • Tyquan Myrick

    @Shamir i agree about the Biased because when questioning him he began to bring up alot of stories of his own life which influenced his own decisions which would have influenced his thinkng in other characters so oblviously tucker was the only character he could really speak for

    5/14/2012 9:15:06 AM
  • Taylor Middleton

    @Shamir I agree with your analysis on how the book reflects the fun and hardship of teenage life. As far as him telling where the character end up, I feel as though it may be helpful in the sense that we kind of dont know where everyone is. For example Will, with him feeling that way a long time about his parents and the incident with his sister, knowing how the relationship either got beteer or worse may seem interesting to other readers.

    5/14/2012 9:16:30 AM
  • Mark Owens

    @Kendra, I agree he was author that wanted to know what we thought more than any other author that has visitied the school. I think this took a posititive and negative affect on the visit.

    5/14/2012 3:40:27 PM
  • Collecha Newby

    Initailly I was very interested in the novel but as I read more in dept and thought i understood or related to a cocept or chracter fromthe the novel something would happen that destroyed that connection. An example of this is Kat and her mistake, I would not say that I mess up on the level that she does but I would say that I do make major mistakes as a teenager but as son as I made that connection with Kat she ran away from her father. That is not something that I would do. This is also the most interesting thing as well because when reading a novel I am almost always able to make a connection to something or someone in the novel and in BHF that was not the case. In terms of the author visit I think that the entire experience confused me on the writting process and the ways authors may write. This is true because Godwin did not know what Kat looked like as a person while writting yet he was able to decribe her throughtout the novel and also explain the way she acts. The visit overall was interesting and enjoyable but I believed that I got caught up on some concepts from the novel that hendred me from fully understanding the events and how to disscuss them. I would reccomend that you teach BHF again because it was an enjoyable and engageing read for me and the fact that I could not relate to any of the characters does not take away from the juicy content of the novel.

    5/15/2012 2:24:40 PM
  • Collecha Newby

    @Katia Your post is very insightful and thank you for piunting out how Tucker and Kat are charactered as a pair. This is a very good approach for understanding the characters on another level.

    5/15/2012 2:26:26 PM
  • Collecha Newby

    @April I completely agree with your opinion on the PEN/Faulkner program because after meeting an author you have a new level of respect for thier work. Not that the work has changed but you have a better undrstanding of who wrote it and how they drafted and ordered thier ideas.

    5/15/2012 2:29:32 PM
  • Shamir Fauntleroy

    @Kendra I agree that this was a very insightful author's visit. I think because the author was father himself he knew how to advocate for parents and their mind state. I would love to one day write a response from the mind state of his son.

    5/17/2012 2:17:25 PM
  • Shamir Fauntleroy

    @Tyquan I agree! The authors did bring about symbols in the book that I did not recognize. The biblical reference that Emma Donaghue brought out was really interesting and I would have never got that from just me reading it.

    5/17/2012 2:19:59 PM

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