Perks of my Job

Teaching is fairly predictable: once you've taught a topic a few times, you know what questions the kids will ask and you know what issues will raise interesting discussions, but there are occasional super-excellent unpredictable moments along the way (such as this one) that are spontaneous and priceless, and something in that vein happened yesterday afternoon; I was giving the kids some background on Shakespeare, as we were about to begin Hamlet and I told them: "Chaucer was before Shakespeare, he wrote the Canterbury Tales in the late 1300's and he wrote them in Middle English-- which is really hard to read . . . but Shakespeare wrote in a more modern kind of English, which is much easier to read, it was named after the ruler of the time . . . anyone know what kind of English it was called, Shakespeare's English?" and a lovely girl-- an intelligent girl, I should add, so you don't get the wrong impression from this one particular response, a response given late in the day in the midst of a dark and snowy February afternoon, while I was lecturing about iambic pentameter and the Globe Theatre -- anyway, this wonderful girl sitting in the front left gamely took a shot at my question about the kind of English spoken during Shakespeare's time, a kind of English named after the ruler of the time; she said, "Metric English?" and her answer didn't really register in my brain, and I said, "No . . . Elizabethan English" and then there was a beat, and then the entire class realized why she said "Metric English" and we all laughed and laughed (even though the official adoption of meter sticks in the UK wasn't until far after Shakespeare's death).

No comments:

A New Sentence Every Day, Hand Crafted from the Finest Corinthian Leather.