Tomorrow we start our unit on Othello. I bought a new copy of the play, namely because my Norton complete works will not fit on my scanner properly. The version I got, a Barnes and Noble edition, is actually pretty decent. I was skeptical when I was ordering it. But at the beginning of each scene it has a vocab list and the print is not microscopic. The latter part may be of more importance to me than the students. I also bought the No Fear Shakespeare edition to Othello. I need to check my mailbox to see if it's come yet. This book will help the kids. And me. The first section they read of the play will be overwhelming for them. It was for me. The language is difficult to get into. This second book puts the entire play in plain English and I think will be helpful to me and my students.
This last Saturday I was feeling a bit under the weather. So I stayed in bed. Until about 4:30. Then I went to support a friend who assistant coaches a dance team. Anyway, Saturday. I watched a four hour documentary of Shakespeare on Netflix' instant watching thing. THAT'S HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU, KIDS!!!! I'm not a huge Shakespeare fan. I don't think he's the greatest poet ever. In fact, in the recent past I may have compared him to Mozart's work ("You've heard one, you've heard them all"). I am terrible. I strongly disagree with my literary and education contemporaries. But the documentary was actually pretty cool. It answered a lot of myths and unanswered questions.
So why am I teaching it? Honestly I'm not sure now. And maybe this is the fear that I will fail my students miserably. But I don't think it's important to read in the sense of knowledge and whatever. I think it's important culturally though. I feel like so many things reference Shakespeare that it's important for them to know where it came from. That's right, I am teaching them useless information so they can have the glory and satisfaction of one day being at a party in which someone will misquote Shakespeare and one of my students will correct them. That is my dream.