Feb. 16th, 2011

ifeelbetter: (Default)
Guys, look at this:

He would not stay for me, and who can wonder?
He would not stay for me to stand and gaze.
I shook his hand, and tore my heart in sunder,
And went with half my life about my ways.


NOW look at this:
No, seriously, look at this business )

So I taught Stoppard today. I feel passionately about Stoppard. Like. IDEK. It's a Big Deal for me. I know The Invention of Love because my sister heard about it when we were in high school. And we were walking around NYC one weekend, that being the basic activity of most of my youth, and we see the sign for the play. My sister--who had her first job at the time--ducks in and we ask how much a ticket would cost--imagining something like the enormous amount of $20 or something. The answer comes back: $100. Per ticket. And we've never even conceived of such a large amount of money before--we were still doing our mathematical calculations by how many bags of chips that amount of money could theoretically buy--and my sister hesitated for a beat and then handed over her card and bought two tickets on the spot. And so we saw the play--not understanding the words, the names, the laughs that rolled through the rest of the audience, nothing--but we both agreed, afterward, that we loved A. E. Housman passionately and permanently. And that has not changed since.

I mean it when I say I feel passionately about this play. And students can be so glorious sometimes--they voiced their confusion at the beginning of class but, an hour and a half later, they had caught my enthusiasm. It's days like this that I know why I do what I do and how people can exist with each other in peace and happiness.

Also. I made a new rule when we did Tennyson that students could win extra credit by memorizing poetry and reciting it to me in my office hours. A student actually came up to me to ask if she should memorize the original Latin of Catullus or the translation. Sometimes, man. Sometimes I glory to be a teacher.

I'll leave you with this from Catullus:
da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.

Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred,
then a second thousand, then a second hundred,
then immediately a thousand then a hundred.

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August 2012

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