Students go to the DeWoskin House to Watch “Easy A”

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Students go to the DeWoskin House to Watch “Easy A”

Becca Shipan focuses on cutting a piece of cake.

Becca Shipan focuses on cutting a piece of cake.

Becca Shipan focuses on cutting a piece of cake.

Becca Shipan focuses on cutting a piece of cake.

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Students fill DeWoskin’s basement

On Dec. 13 Judith DeWoskin did something most teachers would never dare to do; she invited her two American Literature classes to her house to watch the film Easy AEasy A is a modern retelling of Nathanial Hawthorne’s classic The Scarlet Letter. The film follows high school student Olive (Emma Stone). In order to help a friend Olive pretends to have sex with him. The movies is a funny film that follows the repercussions of Olive’s actions.

A total of 35 students showed up for the event. All of them squeezed into the basement, watched the film, had a laugh and enjoyed DeWoskin’s famous popcorn. “It…pops in a small kernel. It’s very crunchy. I think it’s crunchier than yellow which is kind of soggy…Plus I make it on the stove with oil, and I only put butter and salt on it. I don’t put anything else on it. It’s very pure. It’s very traditional,” said DeWoskin.

DeWoskin has been having parties like this for about 25 or 30 years. The movie she shows are full of literary references to a piece the students read in class. In the past, DeWoskin’s classes have watched the films The Scarlet Letter, Seven Samurai, Of Mice and Men, The Crucible and A Soldier’s Story. “It’s time consuming. it makes a huge mess. I have to clean it up …[but] I love having these parties,” she said.

Not only do these parties provide an opportunity for students to connect pop culture to the books they read in class, but it also helps them socialize with other students in the class. “I don’t know that the students in my class are best friends. They probably aren’t. And so when forced into a social situation like this, they hang out together in a way that they may not otherwise,” said DeWoskin.

Some students might find it uncomfortable to go over to a teacher’s house, but not the students of American Literature. This could be because DeWoskin is able to create a comfortable environment for students. “Judith is just one of those teachers…she’s quite a character… Judith’s house is really elegant and really, really cool,” said CHS junior and American Literature student Amelia Diehl who attended the party.

Becca Shipan focuses on cutting a piece of cake.

Many students had seen Easy A before, but liked it more after reading The Scarlet Letter and understanding  the literary references. “I got more out of it after I had studied The Scarlet Letter,” said Deihl.

DeWoskin found this year’s party very fun. She usually has to run up and downstairs making popcorn, but this year she made all of the popcorn in advance and was able to watch the whole movie with her students. “For me that was a real pleasure, because I could see where you guys thought it was funny. When you laughed, when you saw the connections to both The Scarlet Letter and to Huck Finn… I thought that kids had a great time… I think we had two cakes and a plate full of brownies, so people had all that sugar. And then they had all the butter and the salt from the popcorn. It was perfect. You know special food groups, sugar and salt,” DeWoskin explained.

Both DeWoskin and her students had an excellent time at this semester’s American Literature party. They were able to have a good time while making references to books they read in class. “American Lit. is the best class ever,” said Diehl.

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