Thursday, July 10, 2014

Liberal Interpretations

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present...Tyson and Joanna.

These two are characters in one of the textbooks used for adult classes. They're just friends, and they're a little unsure about who the suitcase in the stairwell belongs to. Finally, Joanna remembers that she is getting a new roommate, and the bag must belong to her. Mystery solved.

I read through this with a class a week ago, and one of the students said that he had an "alternate text" for the story. Intrigued, I asked him to share. His version goes like this...


Joanna, a woman who is married to a man she doesn't love, falls deeply in love with Tyson.

She decides that she must be with Tyson. To save the embarrassment that would come from having an affair, Joanna kills her husband. The husband is then stuffed in a suitcase.

Joanna brings the suitcase outside of her apartment and talks to Tyson, who has no idea what has occurred...

...but someone else knows.

Joanna's son knows what his mother did. He knows that his father is in the suitcase, and he's watching her. Through the window, he glares at his mother, Tyson, and the suitcase that contains the body of his father.


Seriously, I wanted to engage in more discussion about this "alternate text," because, as you can see, it had potential. Then I looked at the other students and their blank, confused faces, and I realized that it was time to keep the lesson moving.

Someday, this suspense-novelist-to-be will get his day in the sun.

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