I’ve been lately reading, with a couple of other people, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. On Monday March 23, we did a literature circle discussion about it, but unlike our previous literature circles, we videotaped this one. Once Dante finishes editing it, I’ll attach it to this post. When we did this literature circle, we had just found out who the killer of the dog was (I won’t spoil this), as well as something else major (I won’t spoil this either). So, what did I learn during this discussion? I learned that the other people in my group had some very interesting views on Christoper (the main character, an autistic 15 year old). Background first-I have an autistic brother who is in 6th grade right now (two years younger than me). I’m not going to go into what that entails (believe me, it’s A LOT), as the only relevant portion here is that I have an insight that most people don’t into what people with autism act like and how it influences the people around them. My brother is a lot lower functioning than Christopher, and is very different from him in many ways, but he is still very similar. One interesting point that someone in our group brought up was that they thought that Christoper could do fine in society without other people helping him along the way. Aside from clearly knowing that this is not the case for my brother, there were several pieces of evidence in the book that did not support this. To summarize, his overly logical view of the world sometimes precludes his ability to understand human nature. Several of the ilogicalities that he has also mean that he cares about many small things that other people don’t care about, but due to this and his disability it means that he can overreact to many things that we will simply encounter during our daily lives. This would also make it hard to live independently. Finally, and I only know this because I read ahead, when he tries to go to London on his own in the book, it is extremely hard for him to make it there. Imagine that process for everything that he does daily, basically. Not going to end very well. At any rate, despite my disagreement with their statement, I thought that it was interesting to see how some other people with a different viewpoint thought of Christoper. I think what we did well was taking turns and referencing page numbers, and we did talk about some good topics in my opinion. However, I think we hadn’t prepared nearly enough, since a lot of the time we were just not really talking about anything, and kind of ran out of things to say at the end. So, I think that is a point for improvement next time. I think that this video analysis is a good thing to be doing, as it will let us reflect on our own participation as well as our groups, so we can improve next time. Personally, I think that I sometimes didn’t reference the book nearly enough and was as guilty as anyone else for not having enough to talk about. Or rather, I thought I had some things to talk about, but didn’t mention them either because they didn’t fit in well, or I thought it would not be beneficial to our discussion. So, that is a point for improvement as well. I’ll try and embed the video when I receive it, like I said earlier.
Update: Here’s the video.