Shakespeare's Sonnet 130, "My Mistress Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun" is not an easy tackle, but I be dog 'on if you guys did not master it like a champ. We read it this week to help you guys see how the tone shifts at the end of the poem. In this sonnet, Shakespeare describes his mistress in a less than desirable fashion, until the end when we, as readers, realize he loves her beyond a physical attraction. I wanted you all to see that Roald Dahl uses similar negative diction to describe Veruca Salt and Agustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Prior to reading the sonnet, I asked if you guys had read much Shakespeare. Very few hands were raised. Sometimes I forget I am teaching freshmen. Why did I expect hands? You guys are 14 years old. Why would you have read Shakespeare, except for Alex Tislow, who has tackled four tragedies on his own this year? (Good Job-Alex. I am proud of you. I hope you are telling me the truth...smile).
The few hands in the air made me realize I have an incredible privilege this year. In my class, you guys will be introduced to one of my best friends, Will...Shakespeare...that is. He is a literary legend, the father of all plots, a master of language, and I get to introduce him to you guys for the first time. What a privilege!
And yet there are so many more privileges I have been granted this year. They (the elusive they) say November is a month for counting blessings. In no particular order, here is my teacher list. May it remind you and me of how thankful we should be for the ability to get up and do it all over again tomorrow.
I am thankful for:
- An LCD projector that works...how did we ever do it without one?
- Despite having Rheumatoid Arthritis, there hasn't been a day this year that my health has failed
me. I have been able to stand and walk and squat and run, and do what I love every single day.
So, so thankful.
- Our copy tech, Carolyn Allison, who is always so gracious to make me thousands of copies
without mentioning the phrase "copy count" once
- A career that is truly a calling and hardly ever feels like work.
- Friends at work (this means reading coach friends too) who remind me daily I am not alone in the struggle.
- Students who laugh at my sarcastic jokes. Sometimes.
- My brand new document camera. Still not sure how I managed to get one, but oh man, I love it.
- Pace High School- we've been through a lot together....I still love you, and I know you love me.
- 80 minutes in the morning before students arrive. I am not a morning person.
-Working at a place where I never touch money. I always wanted to work at a place where
money was never exchanged. I figured if I wasn't touching money, I was probably
touching a life. In my experience, a life is far better.
- The canister of pencils/pens on my desk. Yes, you guys should bring one to class, but some
battles are simply not worth fighting. Sure. Grab a pencil. We have work to do. Try to
remember to bring one next time.
- Cooler temperatures...but let's keep it steady...easy boy, not too cool.
-Veterans. They don't touch money either.
-Glade plug-ins for my classroom, which reminds me, I need some Glade plug-ins
-Sean, Quinton, Logan, Emory, Sam, Brooklyn, Brooke, Jayden, Alex, Xander, Tyler, Jason, Jaci,
Bryce, Beau (for always turning on ITV), Cole (for passing out books), Payton, Ally and Abby (all
seventy five of you), Faith, Miles, Brianna, Angel (those Reese Cups are gonna see me through
the whole first semester), Zack and Zach (sorry I always accidentally call you Christian),
Christian (sorry I always call Zach by your name), and since I am on it, Katelyn (sorry I always
give you Katie's papers...I know the difference. I promise I do, but you have to admit Katelyn and
Katie are pretty close), oh, and the other Katelyn too...Skaggs..that is, my quads minus one,
Cameron, Kinsley, Caleb, Shane, Emma, Jonathan, Arianna, Hannah, Robert, Sebastian, Jacob,
and Jacub, and every single one of the rest of you. I really do love you all. I cannot imagine how empty my life would be if I had not been given the honor of getting to know each of you this year.
- the field trip I am planning to Monroeville to show you where my other best friend, Harper Lee, lived. Surprise. We are going on a field trip. I think I forgot to mention it.
- My needs to grade stack is currently resting at zero.
-And....okay, I lied, I suppose there was a particular order....#1 on the list, Thanksgiving is only a week away. We all need a break, huh? It's been a long haul.
Turkey is Near,