Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: For the (broken) record

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  • BenWilson,

    Internet Translation Issues here: I meant to say

    I understood you. Perhaps my telepathy came on ;-) But by 'dumbed down Shakespeare', I actually meant 'the easy Shakespeare' eg R&J, so maybe the telepathy's gone half-duplex.

    As for modern English, of course most of an English course should be spent on that. Still leaves some room for a bit of older English, and who else you gonna call on but the eternal bard, if there's only room for one?

    Keir, I sort of agree. I personally hated English as a subject, because they made us read shit I basically didn't like, then pore over it in ways that I didn't like, then discuss it with people I didn't like, then write about it in a format I didn't like. Or even worse, they'd make us read it out loud. Fucking HELL I hated doing that.

    My favourite English classes ever were with Mr Wells, an American teacher who pretty much goofed off with the rest of us, whilst weaving in whatever he could from the curriculum. It was fun, classes reminded me very much of PAS, actually. Long rambling discussions that went off topic constantly, dominated mostly by a few, mostly the cool kids, but with the occasional insight from the more timid, which were usually welcome when they came. Others listened and read, some of them just read whatever they wanted to read and wrote whatever they wanted to write. I don't really know why we always sort of felt guilty afterwards...well I do, actually - assessment. There was always this nagging feeling we were going to get poor marks, and that was bad because...dunno. No one has ever asked me, ever, ever, what grade I got in 6th form English, more than 2 months after the grades came out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    As for modern English, of course most of an English course should be spent on that.

    Nope, I'd say the opposite -- then again I had an English teacher who made the rather salient point that she had little patience for 7th formers who were mastering science and maths courses, but expected English language and literature to be served up in pre-digested "gobbets". (For the properly contemptuous inflection, I suggest you hire The History Boys and watch Richard Griffiths' lip curl.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    This teacher influenced you profoundly?

    I'm not sure how gobbetization relates to modern vs archaic ratios. Will a lip curl convey all of this to me? If so, consider: this profound source you suggest is ... modern.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    And of course by "others" I mean the teacher. I was That Kid.

    (But weren't we all? All of us in this room, I mean?)

    Lordy, no. Me and teh wordz, we have reached a detente of sorts, but in English class? Between the future Rhodes-Scholar/English-Prof and the terrifying volume of aspiring lawyers[*]? The role of That Kid was well and truly taken.

    Note I'm referring only to English class, here. I wouldn't want to stretch your credulity too far.

    [*] Now presumably even more terrifying, as Actual Lawyers.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 457 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    In the 3rd form our exuberant teacher, a poet and subsequent author, had us study The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Whether we were up to the task or not, the memory of it is still vivid. Maybe because we drew pictures of the scenes, as 13 year olds would.

    In 6th form I don't even remember what we studied, but I do remember the cupcakes the teacher gave out at the end of the year. They had a letter on top to signify some aspect of the pupils literary endeavours. Mine had a wriggly 'e' on it. When asked the teacher said 'you have the most illegible hand writing in the class'. Haha. But as you can see, I had the last laugh.

    After that was Uni, and Chaucer, and all that that entails.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm not sure how gobbetization relates to modern vs archaic ratios. Will a lip curl convey all of this to me? If so, consider: this profound source you suggest is ... modern.

    Yeah, but if you want to get rid of anything that's too "difficult", you might as well chuck in the bin most of what Hector teaches in the play. Thomas Hardy's 'Drummer Hodge' -- which is the hinge of an enormously moving scene in the play and film -- is modern, but still requires quite a bit of explication and the language is far from simple. Worth the effort though.

    Up-thread, Emma nailed the real problem with teaching Shakespeare. It's not the "archaic" language (For the most part, it's not exactly Ezra Pound at his most batty), but the methodology. She's right: Shakespeare never wrote his plays to be read, but performed and heard.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Of Shakespeare, but not from. Tom Stoppard's
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
    The Tennis Match.

    'Are you deaf?'
    'Am I dead?'
    'Yes or no?'
    'Is there a choice?'
    'Is there a God?'
    'Foul, no non sequiturs'

    Brilliant.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Yeah, but if you want to get rid of anything that's too "difficult"

    It's not difficulty that makes me think modern should get more air. It's relevance. Got no problem with teaching old stuff, it's the groundwork, the basis, the context of the modern world. But it's the modern world we find ourselves in now. It's the modern world kids will be using their English in, hearing it, writing and reading in it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    In related news, Tiger does a Witi.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    In related news, Tiger does a Witi.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    What, claimed he was only being all postmodern and trying 'new' interpretations of "marriage" and "fidelity"?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    I guess it was a sort of hybrid between marriage and uh... not marriage. Also, he loved those other ladies so much he decided to use them himself?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Was going to say, flogged bits of other people's marriages. Unattributed.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It's not difficulty that makes me think modern should get more air. It's relevance.

    No, I think "relevance" is somewhat irrelevant. We live in the modern world, it is within the realms of possibility that the classroom is a place to exposed to the notion that it wasn't always like this, and while the past may be prologue that doesn't mean it has nothing to teach us?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I once made eye contact with Tiger Woods. I thought for a minute there was a connection, he had a nice smile. Then I realized I was just standing in his shot line, and if I didn't move, security would do it for me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Ah, Tiger on the menu again.

    It seems, yet again, that sporting prowess is of higher public concern than any indiscretions that might serve to tarnish the good person's name. Frankly I like my 'role models' to have a bit more substance, and at least a modicum of integrity.

    Having just recovered from that wacko Scientologist jumping on the couch, I'm going 'autovomiton'* just thinking about Oprah interviewing Tiger (has it happened yet? Who cares).

    'Oprah, it was just one of those things I suppose. There was this door in my hotel room, and being of an inquisitive nature I opened it, tripped, and fell into a naked woman lying on the floor. And you know what's incredible, it happened 11 times!' (or is it 12? I've lost count).

    The man is a cad. Period.

    And as for his caddy (do we have to like him because he's a Kiwi?), I have a strange vision of him cruising around in a Cadillac with oversized gold rings collecting prospects for a lineup.

    While it may have the makings for a Shakespearean drama, he has a real wife, and real children, and they didn't choose this shit, so screw him.

    Well, got that off my chest. Sorry, must be nearly Christmas.

    *n. Involuntary and spontaneous raising of bile into ones mouth, which one is forced to swallow for the sake of decorum.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    it is within the realms of possibility

    Not only possibility, but the actual curriculum too, and I have no problem with that, as I said. But seriously, I don't think that a subject called "English" should be largely confined to "what the long since dead said". Latin, maybe. Living language is interactive, and we use it, we don't just pore over it. There is more of it being created now than there ever was, used to express a great many things that the oldies never even dreamed of. So relevance is never irrelevant - I would prefer education not to be oxymoronic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It seems, yet again, that sporting prowess is of higher public concern than any indiscretions that might serve to tarnish the good person's name. Frankly I like my 'role models' to have a bit more substance, and at least a modicum of integrity.

    [...]

    While it may have the makings for a Shakespearean drama, he has a real wife, and real children, and they didn't choose this shit, so screw him.

    So, how about that real wife and children get to mind their business and the rest of us say "it's none of mine"? Elsewhere I had to give someone a damn hard slap for brining up Bill Clinton. Well, sorry darling, but my issue with Bill Clinton was the perjury (and the rank hypocrisy of Clinton deciding a law he'd lobbed for didn't really apply to him).

    Last time I looked, Woods shills razor blades and over-priced sweatshop sneakers because he's an extremely successful professional golfer. Role model my fat black arse, and those who try to come up with a public interest case for their crotch sniffing are desperately unimpressive.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Role model my fat black arse, and those who try to come up with a public interest case for their crotch sniffing are desperately unimpressive.

    Not having had a CraigSlap before, what's the protocol here? Do I fall on my rhetorical sword, or would you prefer another form of public humiliation?

    I accept your point it's none of our business. But then why the hell can't we turn on a TV, look at a blog, or listen to a radio without it being all over it? I've been trying to ignore it (mostly), it just won't bloody go away.

    Anyway, I didn't intend to start a war, so you win, and have a merry Christmas.

    Sword.
    Falling.
    Impaled.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Not having had a CraigSlap before, what's the protocol here? Do I fall on my rhetorical sword, or would you prefer another form of public humiliation?

    None of the above -- sorry, that was just a general rant, and you just happened to be the occasion for it. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    None of the above -- sorry, that was just a general rant, and you just happened to be the occasion for it. :)

    That's Ok. I went over here and got some free love, so no harm done. ;-)

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Ta, Craig. I was about to reassure our new friend that the CraigSlap is generally not to be taken personally and is more or less automatic. Oops, I almost typed "auto-erotic" there. A Freudian slap.

    recordari, Craig is that wicked character you invite to the dinner party so it doesn't devolve into a tame evening of agreeable nods and murmurs and "oh how interestings." There ought to be a word for it.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The protocol with CraigSlaps(tm) is not to take them personally, unless he specifically tells you to.

    I agree with him in this case though, I can't even get interested in Tiger Woods enough to get bitter on what is none of my business anyway. Seems to me like the kind of thing that would happen to someone who got paid so much for doing something so silly as golf.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Craig is that wicked character you invite to the dinner party so it doesn't devolve into a tame evening of agreeable nods and murmurs and "oh how interestings." There ought to be a word for it.

    I'm happy with CraigSlap(tm) for the moment. Having offended too many people myself over the years, you usually find me cooking the BBQ, pouring the wine, or cleaning up in the kitchens.

    Note to self. Leave the celebrity roasting to the comedians. They get paid to do it.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Sword.
    Falling.
    Impaled.

    Serenity

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3434 posts Report Reply

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