99 English Essays to Grade, 99 English Essays to Grade….

Oh midterm grading time! School has wrapped up, yet the blog has not been updated much, and midterms are the reason why. Essay after essay after essay needs grading, and when you multiple ten minutes for the average essay, times three essays per midterm (not counting short answer questions), times an average amount of students, …

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Why Every Wedding Should Have a Christmas Tree

One final thing about the wedding Leah and I attended last week: they handed out books. It was a brilliant idea, and fitting with the season—put books specially picked out for individual wedding attendees underneath a Christmas tree. My prize was a rare collection of Edgar Allan Poe stories. I’ve written a bit about my …

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Final Thoughts on Teaching “Macbeth”: The Films

We’re finally done with “Macbeth” in my 10th grade classes. Students will be taking their midterms soon, so in preparation for them, and to give them a break from regular studying, we’ve been watching different “Macbeth” films. Here’s what I ended up showing, along with my takes on each. And seriously, if you haven’t watched …

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“Macbeth,” and a Question: Is “Hamilton” Worth the Hype?

Lately I’ve been posting about “Macbeth,” a play I’ve thoroughly enjoyed teaching. But what does that have to do with the play “Hamilton?” Well actually, if you’ve seen “Hamilton” (or at least if you’ve listened to the soundtrack), you’d know the answer to that question. Or obviously, as you have probably guessed if you aren't …

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Explain the Porter Monologue in “Macbeth” or Just Skip Over It?

Some more notes on teaching “Macbeth”: First, don’t worry—my next post won’t be about this play. And second, though Shakespeare and his language are often seen as “high and mighty,” in so many ways “Macbeth” can shatter this illusion for inexperienced students. I’d say that’s for better, because I’m in favor of making all literature …

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Reading and Teaching The Stranger (Deuxième Partie) (Part Two!)

So a follow up on teaching The Stranger by Albert Camus: what a success! Which initially surprised me, since I thought this would be a “we-need-to-read-this-novel-because-its-important-so-power-through-it” kind of text. Unfortunately, in high school this situation comes up every now and then. For younger students, it’s often with Shakespeare. Last year, it was with Washington Irving …

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On Translating and Reading Camus’s The Stranger

In my senior literature class we’re finishing up The Stranger, by Albert Camus. Believe it or not, but before this summer I’d never read the novel (there’s a lot of literature out there!). And I am absolutely loving it. Our copy was translated by Matthew Ward, which is a point worth noting—Camus wrote in French, …

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