Clarion

Feed fed to freshmen

Kate Alaks

Along with reading Feed, students committed to making a positive change for thrity days: the changes were hung on dots in the hallway.

Kate Alaks, Staff Reporter

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What would it be like to live with Internet access in your brain? That’s one idea explored in the book feed by M. T. Anderson, a book now being taught to all freshman students at RB.

Feed had been taught previously to freshmen in the SEE team, but after SEE team was cut, the freshman English teachers all agreed to teach the book at the same time.

“I wanted the kids to get a look at how technology is changing them,” said English teacher Kirstin Bacon. “They grew up with [technology] so I don’t think they know where they’re headed.”

Bacon has been teaching feed for three years. Her favorite part of the book to teach is the when it starts talking about the lesions the characters get.

“[The students] are so grossed out by it, but we do gross things to our bodies as well,” she said.

English teacher Allison Cabaj is looking specifically at the way the characters in the book behave.

“We were looking at the loss of morals in the society of feed,” Cabaj said. “Our hope is to teach students that we cannot live in isolation with no care for others or the environment.”

This was Cabaj’s first year teaching feed, and she is planning to teach it next year as well.

Why teach this book to freshmen?

“Freshmen are open to new ideas,” Bacon said, “and they can use those ideas through their high school career.”

But what do the students think of the book?

“I thought it was really intense,” said freshman Courtney Schade. “At the end [the main character Titus] was kind of selfish and it stuck out that I should try not to be so selfish.”

Freshman Sean Dokousian thought the book was boring, but the idea was interesting. “I think it’s a good idea [to teach it to freshmen] because it’s what could happen,” he said.  “A lot of people ripped it, but I thought it was decent.”

Freshman Calvin Payne wasn’t a huge fan of the book. “I thought it could have been more enjoyable to read,” he said. When asked if it was a good choice to teach to all freshmen, he didn’t have an opinion and said it was up to the individual teachers.

In addition to reading the book, all students participated in a project in which they would try to make one positive change in their lives for thirty days and journal about it. Also, some students participated in an online forum where they could discuss the book as they were reading it, and about two-thirds of the freshmen collectively watched AI, a movie about artificial intelligence, as a companion piece to the book.

Overall the teachers were happy with the project. They said that most students took it seriously and were able to make connections between themselves and the book.

In addition, M. T. Anderson, the author of feed, is planning to come to RB. Anderson and Cabaj have been trying to determine a date for his visit. He will be speaking to all freshmen.

“I am over the moon!” Cabaj said. “Our students have already begun formulating questions and ideas for his visit.”

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Feed fed to freshmen