Marley and who? Not me.

Well, I have been on the early shift for the last couple of days and I just have to say that that, coupled with my tendency to not sleep through the night, makes for one tired teacher.  Yesterday I had it easy.  I left to a temperature outside over 40º colder than it was the night before, and on icy roads thanks to the rain the day and night before, on a slow trip all the way to middle school science.  The teacher did not expect to be out again and so another teacher set me up with a couple of videos.  One was a left-leaning news special titled Who Killed the Electric Car? True, it is a really good question as we could use them these days as I would expect the gas prices to go up significantly again.  Well, unleaded prices anyway as diesel hasn’t actually dropped all that much since the summer in comparison.  I say left-leaning as when it got to talking about government as a suspect (battery technology, consumers, oil companies, car companies, and others were also suspects) it pretty much painted Republican presidents like Reagan and Bush Jr. as evil, signing environmentally unfriendly bills into law, and praises Democratic presidents Carter and Clinton on their policies.  Again, this doesn’t erase the question about electric cars though- we really should be seeing more of them than we are.  A lot more actually since according to the video GM’s EV-1 cars were all destroyed back in 2004.  The closest thing we have at the moment I believe are hybrids like the Toyota Prius.  The entire video was 90 minutes so I only got to see a portion of it, four times of course…  Two classes saw a Bill Nye video on the atmosphere.  Oddly enough, this teacher teaches both 7th and 8th grades, a bit unusual for middle school.

Today I went to the other side of the brain to language arts.  It was an even easier day.  Two of the classes (four periods) were team taught, so I was reduced to helper status for these periods.  The other two periods were really small groups- one with six students and one with three.  The one with three was the most challenging as one of the students was in a very goofy mood.  Where the title of this post comes into play is in the book a teacher read aloud in one of the classes.  As the class started she was reading about Marley so I thought this was going to be about another story, play actually, the classes had also been working on fitting for this time of year.  Of course I mean Charles Dicken’s classic A Christmas Carol.  However I soon realized this was another story entirely- the middle school version of the book Marley & Me.  This movie is coming out Christmas Day and after today’s excerpt I can confidently say I will be skipping it.  The chapter started out talking about John taking Marley to Dog Beach (I think that was the name), but no dog ever messed on the beach so Marley would have to take care of business beforehand, which he did in a colorful description depicting the act.  While at the beach, Marley was playing in the water and drinking quantities of the salty liquid while running around, refusing the offered fresh water.  As a result, the dog upchucked and there was another lovely description of this event.  Naturally it didn’t stop there as the salt water also caused loose bowels.  Thankfully the teacher stopped before describing this event.  Now I realize this will likely take up only seconds on the screen, and knowing Hollywood those scenes will be there, but I have to ask myself if the author was willing to gross readers out by going into detail on these scenes, then what else is in this book?  I think I do not wish to find out.  Thanks for saving me $10 plus refreshments.

4 thoughts on “Marley and who? Not me.”

  1. I would have been disappointed. Is Marley geared toward a middle school audience? I would have guessed a younger one, but judging by your description….

  2. The movie? I couldn’t tell you. The book? I’m told Marley & Me is for older audiences, perhaps adult whereas the book the teacher was reading was easier for middle-school-aged kids.

  3. I loved the book! Didn’t see the middle school version, but I wouldn’t think it would be that much different. I don’t remember any disgusting scenes that were over-descriptive. Maybe you have to be a dog owner. Maybe I especially identified with the book since Charity was an awful puppy who grew to be a wonderful dog, just like Marley. I don’t remember a lot of the book – maybe a side effect from reading while so tired, but I do remember it being a funny and heart-warming book. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie, but I don’t expect it to be as good as the book. Maybe I’ll have to read it again – found it at Goodwill for $1.50 – you can borrow my copy if you ever decide to give it another chance.

  4. Maybe. It just seemed rather gross to me to focus so much attention in that chapter on dog poop and vomit. Maybe they expanded on an originally smaller scene ala Hollywood to interest younger readers in the middle-school version?

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