As a teacher, that’s the most important thing I’ll ever tell you: “.org”. Here’s the thing: If you worked for the past two weeks, and all this weekend, on your big, important PowerPoint presentation that is due by Sunday night, and you slaved and toiled over this thing for countless hours, adding animation after professional-looking animation, hundreds of MS Office cliparts, and a veritable symphony of PowerPoint sound effects, and then you happened to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, it would all be for nothing, because, for all any of us know, easthollywood.com is the domain of a locally-owned and operated video store in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Here at this school, we are above such commercial ventures: We teach and learn for the love of such noble pursuits; we are a charitable organization very much against profit. And therefore my address is
Anyway, we had class today, and what a class it was. First, we read and enjoyed most of the sonnets produced in yesterday’s class. They were delightful, and many were incredibly stupid, such as this little piece of Shakespearean-ness:
I love bubble gum
oh so very much
gum is so fun
bubble gum ‘n’ such
gum is so chewy
oh so bubbily
bubbles, you can blow them
without any troubly
chewing gum until the end
i love gum as much as hula-hoops
and yo-yo’s and rainbows
and ice-cream scoops.
bubblegum is so yummily
in my silly tummily
Incidentally, this author was the same student who penned the instant classic short story “Mystery Meat,” which featured a jailed protagonist reminiscing on the past while snacking on him/herself. I think the thematic connections are more than clear.
Anyway, after that, we put on a “dumb show” of the first act of the play (Hamlet for 10th graders; Othello for ninth). The dumb show consisted of me introducing each character, someone volunteering to “play” them in front of the class, and then that student posing as their character in a sort of cast “portrait” of all the characters. This little mise-en-scene activity helped reveal how each character was related to the others, what their motivations were, and something about their main personality traits. After the “group portrait” I read a synopsis of each scene, and the students silently acted out the action. There was a lot of arm-waving and lip-flapping, but, strangely, no sound. It was dumb. So to speak.
Then, we listened to Act 1 while following along with the book. More on what we heard on Monday.
If you weren’t in class today, obtain a copy of the play (or follow the link to the Complete Works of William Shakespeare over there on the right side of the page) and read act 1–Hamlet for 10th-graders, Othello for 9th.