Use Your Illusions
I wanted to make a good impression during parent/ teacher conferences, so I cleaned my desk -- but I deliberately left my Merchant of Venice DVD out in a conspicuous location because I thought it was a good intellectual prop . . . perhaps a parent would inquire about it and I could explain that I teach the Shakespeare class -- which sounds pretty impressive -- or at the very least, they would notice it and think that something intellectual was happening in my classroom; on the other hand, I made a point to put away the other video which was lying on my desk in plain sight, a battered VHS tape of Godzilla vs. Mothra . . . I like to show "the death of mothra" as an epic contrast to the subtextually symbolic Virginia Woolf essay "Death of a Moth," which was published posthumously and is essentially a suicide note . . . we watch the first minutes of the movie The Hours, which shows Woolf's suicide by drowning and talk about the tone of that act, and then we categorize "moth" essays -- which are introspective and emotional -- and then the mood really needs to be lightened, and so so we go over "mothra" essays, which simply recount an epic event, such as when Godzilla defeated "the mighty thing" that the tiny twins from the wood box summoned . . . but there's no way I was explaining that to an adult . . . and even if I did, it still might not justify why I show a Japanese man in a rubber lizard suit fighting a giant moth marionette in an honors composition class.