Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Bandwagon of My Own Uncertainty - and teaching 10th graders

So I showed the above video clip to my students today.

Teaching English to high schoolers is never a dull experience.  On some days, the class clown makes an observation that is so on-target that I want to hug him.  On other days, my spirit is buoyed by comments like "I really didn't think Shakespeare could be funny, Mrs. Downey, but this is pretty good."  

Last week, one student (who isn't normally interested in things literary) was awe-struck that we were using "dirty words" - Bottom's head is, after all, transformed into that of an ass in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Then there are the days when, grading essays, I find them neglecting to capitalize people's names. And apostrophes have completely disappeared.  Makes me want to jump from something tall.  Maddening.

Many of my students are well-spoken, well-read, and excellent writers.  But we have to fight against the culture which glorifies vague mediocrity. When I showed this clip, some snickered, some laughed. . . some didn't "get it."

Perhaps Puck has mistaken me for Bottom.


  1. its like kul that his' head turned into that word (okay?)

  2. "Aggressively inarticulate?" Absolutely,right? I mean, you know?



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