AP literature students talk through a screen to famous author Thomas Foster

Rachel Bullock

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Richard Mendiola
English teacher Ron Baer along with his AP Literature class hold a conversation with Thomas Foster author of “How to Read Literature Like a Professor.”

Teacher Ron Baer and his AP English Literature class crowded inside the room last Wednesday  in front of the screen to have a conversation with Thomas Foster, author to the New York Time’s bestselling book “How to Read Like a Professor.”

“I enjoyed that he took the time to talk to our AP class about Gatsby,” junior Eduardo Garcia said.

Baer’s students took notes on “The Great Gatsby” and the major points about what ensued in the book such as recklessness of the characters, the partying and other social mishaps of the roaring 20’s.

“My biggest influences were students,” Foster said. “If I didn’t have teaching behind me, there would be no book.”

Symbolism was widely discussed and the students got a lot of their questions answered such as whether the green light was a symbol or why the color yellow was so significant in the text. The act of drinking and driving, satirized in part of clarifying the novel’s theme to students, was helpful to some.

“Some of the symbols are complex,” junior Jade Ajileye said. “He cleared it up, made it more simple to understand.”

As Foster wrapped it up, he made it explicit to students he wasn’t there to push his interpretation of the novel on them. Rather, he encouraged the students to look for themselves in the novel and go with their own interpretations as they found supported by the text.

“It (the story) is theirs (the reader’s),” Foster said. “It in part describes them, they shouldn’t conform to a master interpretation.”