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Thursday, February 23, 2006

How to alienate 120 students simultaneously

1. Get hired to teach 120 person Shakespeare Lecture.
2. Put Comedy of Errors on the syllabus.
3. Get weirdly distracted by all the language about drops of water falling into oceans and gulfs and such as you talk about identity.
4. Break out of lecture to tell what you consider to be a joke, as follows: "You know, when I was in graduate school, we used to joke around about how funny it would be if we could just write our dissertations on the topic 'Water Imagery in Shakespeare.'"
5. Wait for laughter.
6. Hear silence.
7. Notice earnest student with hand raised in front row.
8. Call on her.
9. Hear the question on 119 other minds (assuming the rest of the room is actually listening): "What's wrong with water imagery in Shakespeare?"
10. Feel like the most ridiculous snob on the face of the earth.
11. Explain what a dissertation is.
12. Tell everyone there's nothing wrong with water imagery in Shakespeare, and actually, it's kind of interesting to think about repeated image sets in plays.
13. Put up slide of Olsen twins and hope everyone forgets what an asshole you are.

  • At 2/24/2006 01:17:00 AM, Blogger Hieronimo wrote…

    One question: did you actually use a slide of the Olsen twins as a pedagogical tool?

    I've had the same experience with that drop of water. Minus the dissertation joke though.


  • At 2/24/2006 10:29:00 AM, Blogger Greenwit wrote…

    I used the Olsen twins as a kind of subliminal inter-slide. They appeared in between one serious slide and another, but only for a second. One of those "Yes, this plot is pretty stupid, but we still go for this sort of thing today" subliminal messages.


  • At 2/24/2006 02:04:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    You might want to tell your students that that paper has already been written. Or, at least, "Baywatch and Water Imagery in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night" has been. They can buy it here if they're interested.


 Scribble some marginalia

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