Earlier this week, on Monday, I participated in a group presentation on Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. We went improv with it, framing the presentation as a literal performance of the dystopia and the panopticon. I was primarily responsible for facilitating discussion in the mock-dystopia, trying to frame discussion of the Hills clip we showed, and policing the use of personal pronouns, which was one of our controls on social expression which we built into the exercise. In the run-up to the actual presentation, I also sometimes felt a bit like a human sparknotes, which is entirely my own fault for proclaiming so proudly that I had read the book in only 2 hours. Lesson learned: If you make a big point of having finished the material quickly, you become an unwitting source for synopsis and fact-checking.
I felt like our presentation was both better and worse than I had expected it to be. Better, in the sense that the class seemed to have some fun with the exercise, without outright rejecting the activity (with one notable exception) and worse in the sense that I wish we had been slightly more concrete and structured in our delivery of the material. In hindsight, I think we could have benefitted from a more explicit connection between the book and Allen’s film(s), and perhaps a more clearly mapped direction to the discussion we wanted to lead the class in.
And of course, since I was responsible for getting the ball rolling on correction by Hound, I wish my aim had been truer on the first “Hounding” of the discussion, without collateral damage. I throw like a one-eyed 8 year old girl (no depth perception, no physical conditioning, and bloody WEAK ;P)
I thought my group worked pretty well together, although poor Simone became a kind of accidental lynch-pin. I felt our communication in the run-up to our presentation was solid (barring a total failing of electronic communication) and I had a lot of fun working with these people.