Yes, that one.
I know I’ve mentioned that my sophomore class is a new prep, and that I’m teaching some texts I’ve either never taught before (The Canterbury Tales, in a fairly inert translation), or never taught in high school (Macbeth, awesome as always). We’re about to embark upon a great English epic…by a writer who was a child when Shakespeare died…I’m sure you know the one I mean.
Until a few weeks ago, I had not opened this book for about 25 years. I spent maybe six weeks on it in a college class in which I failed to be enchanted by it, and that’s all. I know some of the writer’s shorter poetry, but I’d never gone back to this.
Come to think of it, this is where I was with the Odyssey when I came to SA–they had read the first eight books when I got there, and I had read it in college but not given it much of a thought since. By the time I stopped teaching ninth grade, I’d read it maybe six times and come to love reading it with that level. I am actually a little more ashamed of not knowing PL better, given that it’s a major English poem, than I was of not remembering the Odyssey that well. (We read the Fitzgerald translation in college, but I fell in love with the Robert Fagles translation we use at SA.)
It’s awkward knowing that this will probably be my clumsiest pass through PL, but exciting, too. I’m really going to get to know this poem–or at least, at first, the parts we have them read. I’ve been reading and preparing, and thinking about which paths in I want to take with them; I’ve also been reviewing materials prepared by Lucinda, Dinah, and even things that Viola (now working at the place that made her the offer) left behind on our shared drive, and I’m totally going to cannibalize Dinah’s PowerPoint, but I’ll be doing a lot of inventing as we go along, too.
I did finish grading all my exams yesterday, which has made today much, much more pleasant, although I did have to chime in on an issue that Orsino and Lucinda were dealing with on the matter of curving their shared multiple choice section. And with the end of my one-semester overload, I get an extra free period this semester! It’s just a case of dropping back to my regular workload, so I’m sure it will soon come to seem normal, but for a week or two, at least, I expect to savor it.