New Views on Film Studies at WHS

Emily Yeeles

Last year it was a bittersweet time with the retirement of english teacher Eric Reickel. One of his greatest feats in his teaching career was founding and teaching Film Studies. The torch now has been passed to english teacher Rebekah May. As mid-term comes around the corner she reminisces her experience with the class so far.

E.Y.: How did you feel when you were given the opportunity to teach film studies?

R.M.: “I was super excited to do it because i never taught an elective before. I was also nervous because I loved what Mr. Reickel did with the class and I felt like I was filling large shoes.”

E.Y.: What preparation did you have to do in order to teach film studies?

R.M.: “I viewed a lot of movies and I made a lot of friends watch them too in order to see if they were good for students. I also has to learn a lot about textbook film studies stuff like camera angle, lighting, and many other things.”

E.Y.: Did you enjoy picking out a movie selection for the class?

R.M.: “Yes, I definitely enjoyed creating a movie selection. There is quite a bit of choice as long as it is backed by the curriculum.”

E.Y.: What are your favorite types of movies?

R.M.: “Musicals have always been my favorite genre of movies.”

E.Y.: Do you have any genres of movies that you dislike?

R.M.: “The horror and war movies are the hardest genre for me to watch.”

E.Y.: Has your view on movies changed because of this class?

R.M.: “Absolutely! I feel like I have been viewing them with a more critical lens. I’m looking for things that I’m teaching. I also think I’ve become a little more broad in genres I enjoy.”

E.Y.: Is the workload intense with grading all of these papers?

R.M.: “Just teaching three English classes is a challenge. Keeping up with all with these papers and sticking to a schedule is hard, but I’m glad to be able to teach these classes.”

E.Y.: How do your techniques differ from the previous teacher who taught film studies?

R.M.: “I never actually had the opportunity to watch him teach and I regret not being able to. I’m trying emulate what he did. He was able to create immersive class discussion and make students excited about movies.”

E.Y.: Do you enjoy your students this year?

R.M.: “I love my students. I have the opportunity to teach all upperclassmen this year and it’s been awesome. I’m really excited about teaching film studies especially and I am learning with my students along the way because it it my first year.”

So far English teacher Miss May has enjoyed her time teaching film studies. She hopes to have the opportunity to become a better teacher throughout this semester and future semesters. English teacher Miss May says, “If I keep getting the opportunity to do this I hope to be able to become a better film studies teacher. In the end I just want my students to have a better appreciation and larger pallet for film.”

I have had the opportunity to take the first film studies class that Miss May is teaching. I have been exposed to movies that I wouldn’t have given a second glance. My favorite movie so far has been Shawshank Redemption. I enjoy the concept of a prisoner developing a dependency on the prison and the comadreship that the prisoners create to survive the prison. This is just one experience I have had with the movies that I watched this semester so far. I hope to continue to enjoy this class.

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