Monday, April 21, 2003

“Analyzing Hamlet, Act I”

Why is the ghost of Old Hamlet denied eternal rest?
What is “rotten in the state of Denmark”?
What advice does Polonius give Laertes?

Ah, yes, the Monday after spring break started with a little Hamlet with “advanced” seventh graders. Actually, I started the day with two blocks of “advanced” sixth graders. While half the class spent time with the guidance counselor discovering careers, the rest of us watched a video about cartoonist Ub Iwerks. After sitting through it once, I felt the need to add a pre-show vocabulary list and quickie history lesson on Saturday kids’ matinees. (Word list: animation, draftsmanship, synchronization, shorts, main feature, talkie.) Yes, we got to watch some of “Steamboat Willie.”

Once I had the video down pat, I browsed the paragraphs the students wrote about how they felt about the careers the activity must have suggested will suit them. A boy plans to be a neurosurgeon so he can have the satisfaction of saving lives and making money. A girl who loves little kids wants to teach K-2, even though teachers don’t make as much money as they should. A girl thought voice over artist sounded cool, because she could read and act without being seen, but she’s not sure she’d like the long hours.

As ever, I have The Simpsons on. Remind me why I didn’t call this “Dear Log” – Lisa’s diary-entry opener? “Floor Pie” was taken (and is not used).

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