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Showing posts from March, 2010

The Curriculum (May G-d Have Mercy on Our Souls)

A few years ago, a friend of mine asked me what percentage of teachers, in my opinion, actually liked the literature that they were teaching--Shakespeare, poetry, etc.

I said--and I continue to say--that the percentage of English teachers who actually work with or enjoy Shakespeare or poetry on their own time is very low. The kicker is--at least at the high school and community college level--is that it's very difficult to fit in what one does enjoy and is interested in because of The Curriculum. (Although I must admit that I'm very up front with my 102 students about my distaste for Romantic poets and the fact that I'm teaching Blake under protest. And don't get me started on Thomas Mallory. That hack.)

I'm lucky. I'm a medieval nerd, with a sub-dork in Chaucer. But if you really love, say Hemingway, it can be tough to fit Poppa into your lesson plans because you've got so much else to get through. And if you're into Auden or Ezra Pound, you may be sun…