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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: May ::
Re: New Shakespearean Knowledge
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0406.  Saturday, 7 May 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Norman J. Myers <
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        Date:   Friday, 6 May 94 11:54:10 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0397  Re: New Shakespearean Knowledge
 
(2)     From:   Barbara Simerka <
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        Date:   Friday, 06 May 1994 15:54:00 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: New Shakespearean Knowledge
 
(3)     From:   Elise Earthman <
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        Date:   Friday, 6 May 1994 13:59:25 -0700 (PDT)
        Send    Elise Earthman <
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(4)     From:   Elizabeth Schmitt <E2E3SCHM@UNTVAX.BITNET>
        Date:   Friday, 06 May 1994 20:02:54 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   New Shakespearen Knowledge
 
(5)     From:   Imtiaz Habib <
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        Date:   Friday, 6 May 1994 20:25:55 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0400 Re: New Shakespearean Knowledge
 
(6)     From:   E. L. Epstein <epstein@QCVAXA.BITNET>
        Date:   Saturday, 07 May 1994 00:04:42 EDT
        Subj:   RE: New Shakespearean Knowledge
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Norman J. Myers <
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Date:           Friday, 6 May 94 11:54:10 -0400
Subject: 5.0397  Re: New Shakespearean Knowledge
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0397  Re: New Shakespearean Knowledge
 
To: Bernice W. Kliman and Bruce Avery
 
Neither of you are "spoil sports."  I think it's just short of tragic that our
students do not have the basics of *reading*.  Of course, they're 18, 19, 20+
when we get them, so we're not entirely at fault, but I agree that we would be
better advised to look to our own teaching.  Something about the "mote in your
brother's eye" comes to mind.
 
Norman Myers
Bowling Green State University

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Barbara Simerka <
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Date:           Friday, 06 May 1994 15:54:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Re: New Shakespearean Knowledge
 
In adressing the issue of "who is to blame" for the errors of spelling,
grammar, and details of plot that we find in student compositions, the college
teacher vs. student is a false binary which leaves out an important element of
the equation: the education that students receive in K-12. I do not suggest
demonizing primary and secondary school teachers for the inadequacy of student
preparation; a far more important culprit is the systematic (under)funding of
most public school systems, which leads to overcrowded classrooms and
insufficient individual attention at the crucial moments of language skills
development. While the blunders themselves may be momentarily amusing, I can
feel only anger at a government which values redundant weapons systems more
highly than the education of its children. The new program for the year 2000,
which prioritizes the compilation of standards and goals and allocates minmal
resources to their fulfillment only perpetuates the current injustices.
 
Barbara Simerka
Davidson College
(formerly a teacher in public schools in Detroit and East Los Angeles)
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Elise Earthman <
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Date:           Friday, 6 May 1994 13:59:25 -0700 (PDT)
Sender:         Elise Earthman <
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I think finding a certain delight in our students' anonymous bloopers and
malapropisms is a long way from holding particular individuals up to
ridicule--perhaps the appropriateness of it has to do with the spirit in
which the excerpts are offered.
 
I for one know that the occasional goof brings a bit of joy--last night,
for example, after a long session of reading study questions that said
the same thing, over and over, to come on one that said that "Antony
insisted that Octavia go back to Rome as a pacemaker" definitely
lightened the rest of my work.  I'm sure the student knew what he meant,
and on this informal kind of assignment I wouldn't even embarrass him by
correcting his gaffe.  But I don't think it's wrong to share it
anonymously with you.
 
Some students even manage to render themselves unforgettable by
delighting us in this way.  Over ten years ago, I had a remedial class of
18 students, the only one of whom I can remember (and quite clearly, too)
is the student who told me one of her favorite books was *Tess of the
Doobyvilles*.  I was delighted not only by her recollection of the title,
but by the fact that she had read Hardy!  This was the same student who,
when I finished a part of my plan for one day and said "Does anyone have
any questions?" raised her hand and said, "Do you know the name of a good
dentist?"
 
Please--with a four-course load and the crush of committees, research,
writing, etc. etc.--don't tell me I can't share these moments of joy with
my colleagues!
 
Elise Earthman
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Elizabeth Schmitt <E2E3SCHM@UNTVAX.BITNET>
Date:           Friday, 06 May 1994 20:02:54 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        New Shakespearen Knowledge
 
Perhaps it is the end of semester that makes me foolhardy enough to put my two
cents into this discussion.
 
I,too, laughed upon reading the "knew info"...so much so, I printed it up and
showed my husband (who was wondering what I was laughing about). He read and
read and didn't crack a smile---not even at Richard Bondage (my fav).He then
gave me a stern talking to about bad teachers of Shakespeare (first hand
experience on his part), those who put their students off the Bard for life.
 
Well, this was a sobering thought. But as his replies filtered in with several
of the list's "wet blankets,'" a quote came to mind from JULIUS CAESAR,"The
fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves." Yes, it is
partially bad teaching: "bad" being qualified by time constraints (I had to fit
HAMLET into two 90 min. classes of a World Lit. survey), over familiarity and
fondness with the text, and often too many students to see if they're all
comprehending. BUT, as others have noted, many of the studentys in our classes
could care less. They're in the class because they need it to graduate, not
because it is a driving force in their life. And they haven't studied, or even
bothered to watch the video. Sometimes they're just too "Oer hasty" in their
labors.
 
I submit as parting evidence selections from a paper on HAMLET from a
well-meaning student who didn't take the time to check his facts or proofread.
The punctuation is original; the ellipses are mine: "When Claudius realizes
that Hamlet knows all about Claudius killing his father he becomes eccentric. .
. . Ophelia does not understand why Hamlet does not care for her anymore. In
fact even though Hamlet really does still care for. This will later put her in
devastation. . . Hamlets fathers spirit reoccurs and reminds him not to take
revenge out on his mother Gertrude. . . The moral of this play is that even
though that Hamlet was a mad crazy man throughout the play. The real crazy man
was Claudius the King of Denmark."
 
Flinging off the wet blanket,
Elizabeth Schmitt

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(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Imtiaz Habib <
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Date:           Friday, 6 May 1994 20:25:55 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 5.0400 Re: New Shakespearean Knowledge
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0400 Re: New Shakespearean Knowledge
 
Even our students enjoy student bloopers when we share such howlers with them.
But I don't think we should feel self righteous about this.
 
(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           E. L. Epstein <epstein@QCVAXA.BITNET>
Date:           Saturday, 07 May 1994 00:04:42 EDT
Subject:        RE: New Shakespearean Knowledge
 
Re: bloopers. Need I remind the network that Shakespeare makes fun of
Dogberry's bloopers? If it's good enough for the Bard, it's good enough for us.
 
E.L.Epstein
 

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