“Can we read Outsiders today?”

Posted on September 21, 2009Filed Under Presenting the Book, The Outsiders | Leave a Comment

The down side of reading the book entirely in class is that there’s usually a lot going on in class. What with the warm up, a little grammar work, vocabulary, and whatnot (there’s always that dang whatnot), sometimes it ends up…

“Dang it. We’ll have to get back to reading tomorrow.”

We’re a little behind this year, so we’re only up to where Pony begins his flashback (literary term!) about Johnny, while he waits with Cherry in the snack bar. I always have to explain what the “concession stand” is, and they can’t cope that you can get two popcorns for 50 cents (“Two-Bit flipped me a fifty cent piece”) at the drive-in in 1967. And since most of them have been hooked (even the kid who really, physically, cannot stop moving, even for 30 seconds) since Pony bit down on the hand of the Soc trying to shut him up in chapter one, and since that was last week, I’ve been hearing a lot of…

“Can we pleeeeeeeze read Outsiders today? We could skip the warm up. And adjectives. But can we watch Mr. Morton?” (The whole “have your cake” and etc.)

Today we read the part where Two-Bit scares the bejabbers out of Johnny at the drive-in by pretending to be a Soc.

“That’s probably pretty funny for Two-Bit and even Pony. But what about Johnny?”

“I’d pee my pants if I was him.”

Too much information.

I have to do some explaining of Two-Bit’s monologue about Dally slashing Tim Shepard’s tires, and the fact that if there is a fight between them, neither of them will hold a grudge or seek revenge.

“He means that once they have had their fight about this, they’ll move on, and not keeping trying to get payback. That’s what distinguishes what Pony calls a gang from what we call gangs today. Our gangs today are more like what Pony would call packs.”

I also always have to explain what Pony means by an “outfit.”

“That’s an old-school term for a gang, a group of friends, or a company.”

“So they all wear the same outfit?”

“Ummm. No. An outfit is a slang term for those things. When Pony says “outfit” he means a gang or group of people.”

“That’s weird.”

“And the fact that, slang-wise, terms like bad and tight and phat all mean good; that isn’t weird?”

“No.”

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