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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Act III, s. 2

There will be rain tonight...

So let it come down!

MacBeth


So, the AP class was going to check out MacBeth (I was hoping to do the Crucible, but too many of them did it in middle school--too bad, it would have been SOOOOOOO apropos!) Anyway--I'm doing my 'thang'--

My 'thang' is when I make the story personal--so I start talking about the Valedictorian, and how he's a good an honorable man, and then I pick on one of the self-professed 'slackers' and I make up a scenario in which the slacker wants to be the Valedictorian--and all he has to do, is steal one paper while the Valedictorian is at his house...what's to stop him?

'Ethics?' Says one person. 'Morals?' Says another. 'Another person?' Says a third.

"Another person?" I say. "Like say his girlfriend...who wants to be his girlfriend in this scenario?" And the girl who is teasing the slacker volunteers. "So, Freda--(not her real name:-) you REALLY want to be the Valedictorian's girlfriend...which means your guy has to be Valedictorian, right? And you play with his hair and smile into his eyes and say 'please please pleeeeeeaaaaasssseeeeee steal that paper' and he says?...."

"No?" Supplies the slacker.

And right here--I have them--they are paying attention, they want to know what happens next, and I have them all set up and my next line is the kill line. And it is (for those of you who know the play and are understanding the analogy) borderline inappropriate. But it is also VERY VERY analogous to MacBeth--because her line in the play is "From this moment forth, such I account thy love." It's usually staged where she turns her back on her husband and grows very cold--and it is essentially the wife's throw down--turn your back on your morals, kill your kinsman, become king, or you don't love me any more and you will get no more loving period the end. So what do I say? I have the students--I can risk my job, or I can accept that if I am going to teach at all, I need to teach true to myself. I can slink away and go with the easy.. 'No more kissy face for you!'... or I can go with the real kill line--Lady MacBeth's real implication in this scene, and the thing that has MacBeth by the testicles and forces him into action.

"Please steal that paper... please please pretty pleassssseeeee......"

"No." Says our slacker.

"Well then I won't put out." I do the hair flip, the attitude, the back turning...

And most of the class roars.

My cronies? The ones who are out to get me? They exchanged glances, "Talk about inappropriate!" One of them gasps.

But I'm done. I will not live my life or teach my class in fear of their censure. If there is rain, let it come down.

11 comments:

Rae said...

I promise, you won't melt in the rain. Let it pour.

The most empowering moments are when you make decisions about what you will and won't do.

Cheers!

Rae said...

HM, I left a comment for you, but I'm not sure you got it. Just in case, here it is again. Then I'll stop.

Blogger needs an interaction designer!


I promise, you won't melt in the rain. Let it pour.

The most empowering moments are when you make decisions about what you will and won't do.

Cheers!

NeedleTart said...

Yay! for you! Stick with what works (besides that unemployment check is a whopper and then you will have time to travel to speaking engagements and become the world famous author. so there school prick-weenies!)

Rae said...

Aw shucks. I hope you feel OK with us posting comments -- I like to read others'.

You know, if you wanted us to clean up our take on things and language, I bet we'd happily comply. I would, at least.

Amy Lane said...

Oh no--this is by no means a reflection on you guys...

The truth is--and this is embarrassing... remember when I said the kids wouldn't find me? One did--and they left a horrible, nasty, virulent, toxic comment on the old site...

Now they haven't been invited here, and I certainly haven't been public about moving the blog, but I'm going to wait until this whole wierdness blows over before I disable comment moderation... mostly I'm protecting you guys from that bullshit... I promise, you can all be yourselves and say any fucking damn thing you want--I certainly plan to--right down to venting about the shit that pisses me off. If the vain, shallow little fuckers follow me here, that's harrassment on them, and that's their bad. Like I said, I just didn't want you to have to deal with it...

Roxie said...

Good for you!! I bet every kid in that classs will REMEMBER how Lady M. worked her wiles. You ARE a teacher, whether or not you are in the California public school system.

Are there private schools around? Alternative schools? Wouldn't it be nice to say, "Go piss up a rope. I have a better job elsewhere."

Louiz said...

Good for you! If my teacher had done that at school when we read McBeth in English, I'd have remembered it (It was our drama teacher who did something like that though, and made us all play Lady M and McBeth in turn).

If they understand the motivations then they'll understand the play and pass at the end - it shouldn't matter *how* you get them to understand the motivations.

Louiz said...

If my English teacher had done that when we studied it in English I suspect that more people would have passed.

My drama teacher did something similar though, and made all of us act as McBeth and then Lady M in turn.

If they can understand the motivation then they'll understand the play - and pass the exams. It shouldn't matter *how* you get them to that point...

Louiz said...

I give up. I've tried to leave comments twice now.

My drama teacher did the same. We all passed. We all remember it and understood it.

My english teacher didn't. We all failed the exam (which was the year before the drama teacher did it).

Coach Susan said...

Prurient Puritans, the lot of them. The teachers, the parents, the administrators, the whole of American society, and now the next generation, thanks to the efforts of their predecesors.

But I've already been on that bender in your comments and apparently it was all so terribly, horribly awful, Blogger just swallowed up my typing and barfed it into the eTher that sits out there between the internets. The ravings of the enraged jettisoned to oblivion (where they probably belong anyway).

I hope to Goddess 2 Year Old has an English teacher like you when she's in High School. It's so cool to be able to translate the Bard into Teenager and watch them *get* it. Your talents are many.

The Lady in Red said...

All the better for dancing! I love the rain. Screw them. There are only a few more months of school left and then 'they' will be gone and 'she' will have no more progeny to inflict upon us.