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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: Education
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0649  Tuesday, 5 March 2002

[1]     From:   R.A. Cantrell <
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        Date:   Monday, 04 Mar 2002 11:33:20 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0628 Re: Education

[2]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Monday, 4 Mar 2002 10:26:59 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0628 Re: Education

[3]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Monday, 4 Mar 2002 14:22:26 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 13.0628 Re: Education

[4]     From:   R.A. Cantrell <
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        Date:   Monday, 04 Mar 2002 16:36:17 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0628 Re: Education

[5]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <
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        Date:   Monday, 4 Mar 2002 19:26:44 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 13.0628 Re: Education


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R.A. Cantrell <
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Date:           Monday, 04 Mar 2002 11:33:20 -0600
Subject: 13.0628 Re: Education
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0628 Re: Education

> I remember a Folger Shakespeare Library seminar conducted by Peggy
> O'Brien wherein she said that Shakespeare's grammar school education was
> so much better and thorough than children receive today that he could
> have been awarded a Bachelor's (or even a Master's) degree based on the
> subjects taught and the rigorousness of the curriculum.

I have tried, with no marked success, to persuade any and all who are
interested in Shakespeare to read T. W. Baldwin's William Shakespere's
Small Latine & Lesse Greeke. It is my opinion that anyone involved with
Shakespeare who is not well informed enough to have written SL&LG should
read it.

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell
<
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[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Monday, 4 Mar 2002 10:26:59 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0628 Re: Education
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0628 Re: Education

> "Obviously Shakespeare didn't see the value in a
> university education
> and look what he did", writes Brian Willis. Why do
> you think so? Just
> because somebody excels in intellectual achievement
> without getting a
> university education, that does not mean that they
> weren't spitting
> chips their whole life wishing that they had had the
> opportunity.

But I'm saying that Shakespeare never was pushed to "go to the
university young man" like everyone today is told to do. High School
about fifty years ago was geared towards learning a trade, hence the
auto shop and culinary courses offered. The emphasis was on impending
societal interdependence rather than the pursuit of university degrees
per se. That began to change to today's complete and blind emphasis of
high schools to be preparatory for university life. Many more people are
suited for some type of collegiate education but there always are people
who do not fit this bill. What about them? How are they being serviced
by high schools for the life ahead of them?

Shakespeare received trade school training through his father. Although
the stories are hard to verify and the tales told about young
Shakespeare are legends, nearly everyone agrees that Will helped his
father in his wool and glover's shop and was familiar with its
functions. He also attended school to a basic degree since his father
was relatively well off and it was customary even then to do so. Luckily
for us, Will found his way into the dramatic trade, whether he joined a
traveling theatre troupe or whether he left Anne and family behind to
make his way in the big city (a la the song "New York New York").

If Will Shakespeare were attending an American high school today, he
could as easily have been a high school dropout as a university
attendee. Albert Einstein failed his courses because he was too bored by
them. Assume that Will was one of those artistically inclined but not
too keen on the idea of college people...would he have fallen through
the cracks like so many of our students do today? He would not have the
skills that he acquired in his actual education in Stratford that
prepared him to be able to read, write and produce for society.

It's dangerous to assume that everyone wants to go to college. I also
don't see the overt anti-university statements in Hamlet.

> I fear Brian Willis's
> assumption says rather more
> about his own "pull-the-ladder-up behind-me"
> attitude to the
> availability of Higher Education than Shakespeare's.

And don't dare to assume anything about my views about my education. You
make me sound like an elitist intellectualist prig. Education should be
available to anyone who wants it. I am the first person in my family to
attend college. I always thought my dad would have been a good fit for
the college life but he was stuck in a family that pushed him to get a
job at eighteen (and couldn't afford it). That is the other side of the
equation I am discussing. Some people did miss out on the open doors of
our universities. I'm glad I was not one of them because I value my
education more than anything in my life. I'm saying that assuming and
pushing onto other people what they want is dangerous. I'm saying that
not everyone fits into your view of university or death. I'm saying that
Shakespeare didn't need a university education to blow college boy Ben
Jonson out of the water and to make him the Saliere of playwrights.
Success in life doesn't revolve around a college education sometimes.

Brian Willis

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Monday, 4 Mar 2002 14:22:26 -0500
Subject: Re: Education
Comment:        SHK 13.0628 Re: Education

Andy White complains that he lives in a 'monoculture'. Does he mean that
the culture of the United States has no homosexual culture, no
identifiable and distinct racial or ethnic or religious ways of life? Is
it really the case that '  . . .  students have no access to any
language other than English until way past the age when they can easily
learn it' and that the millions of Americans who, in addition to
English,  spoke Italian, or Spanish, or Polish, or Yiddish, or Chinese
etc. no longer exist?  Are there no Southerners, or Westerners, or New
Yorkers any more?  And has it never occurred to him that so-called
'bans on diversity' are nothing less than responses to its presence?
Goodness, how sad.

Terence Hawkes

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R.A. Cantrell <
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Date:           Monday, 04 Mar 2002 16:36:17 -0600
Subject: 13.0628 Re: Education
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0628 Re: Education

> Dr. Hawkes takes me to task for referring to my native land as a
> linguistic monoculture -- but were he anywhere near a newspaper, he'd
> find that the good people of Iowa are pushing hard for English as the
> "official language" of that State.  Laws like that tend to put the
> damper on bilingual and foreign-language immersion courses, especially
> at the grade-school level.  And English-only laws are very popular,
> nation-wide.

I have my doubts that the good Professor wanders far from the comfort of
The Guardian. Perhaps he does not assume as you seem to assume that
there is anything amiss with English-only laws.

> I meant exactly what I said; monoculture, as in, no diversity, no desire
> for diversity, and bans on diversity whenever it rears its ugly head.

Evweboddy knows divusity is good, don't they? Just plain good, hang the
details.

> Just because we are a nation of immigrants doesn't mean we have bothered
> to embrace the many languages of our ancestors.  With the noble
> exception of certain schools in Oregon (and so-called "magnet" schools,
> American code for "rich folks and whites only"),

My daughter graduated from the Booker T. Washington Magnet School for
the Performing Arts in Dallas, Texas and was in the white minority. We
lived in a small two bedroom apartment all during her school years so
that we could put money by for her education, and were not rich.

> students have no access
> to any language other than English until way past the age when they can
> easily learn it.

Having access to language education and being taught in a language other
than English are vastly different things. I am a strong advocate of
learning other languages than one's native tongue. It is, however, very
gratifying to encounter second generation Latin 

 

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