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Shakespeare in the Schools

Did you know that William Shakespeare created over 1,700 words? He is credited with creating many words, some of those being: alligator, kissing, eyeball, gossip, bedroom, and critic!! I had no idea that he had created so many words until just the other day in English class. My English teacher (who happens to be the Theatre teacher as well), decided to have the class read Romeo and Juliet. Believe me, much of the class groaned... okay maybe it was more of a silent groan, but what teenager would want to admit they would willingly read a teenage romance. 

First day reading the play and my English teacher started to go in depth into what Shakespeare meant by what he wrote. Let's just say that almost everyone in the class was screaming and asking her to drop the play and let us all watch Gnomeo and Juliet instead. Yes... it was bad enough that kids would rather talk about gnomes that what she was talking about. Don't get me wrong, I love Gnomeo and Juliet, it's a great movie... and there was no doubt in my mind that I would have rather talked about that then go in depth into what Shakespeare was implying in his writing.

We got the next day off, so the class had cooled down enough there was minimal internal screaming when we went to English class the following day. To make it up to the class, and have a little fun, my English teacher gave everyone a list on insults... Shakespearean insults! Okay... the teacher was probably doing it for her own enjoyment rather than to make up for the other day, but the class was overjoyed to be doing something different. Get this, my teacher lined the girls up on one side of the classroom and the boys on the other... then, we were told to throw insults at the group across the room!! Even better, we got to pick who we insulted with the Shakespearean insults! The best part was that the insults sounded funny when you said them out loud because (to be honest) Shakespeare had some weird words! My entire English class walked out smiling that day!

The next day, we met in the Auditorium/Theatre for class. Keep in mind, the English teacher is also the Theatre teacher. As soon as she started calling kids up to the stage, we knew what we were about to do. This is my English class, and absolutely none of us were good at acting. Half the kids turned red and everyone was laughing soooo hard! We got to act out the first scene in the Romeo and Juliet play (and it was a relief to everyone when we realized Romeo and Juliet were not in the first scene). Now, this is the Theatre teacher, so as she was pulling kids up onto the stage, she started handing them props. Not kidding, everyone is now convinced that this teacher has an infinite stash of fake swords hidden in her room. And, not only did she hand out fake swords, but also fake dynamite, whips, and grenades. ISN'T THIS TEACHER AWESOME!

The past few days in English class have been awesome! Not counting the first day when everyone started screaming, but the first day was soon made up for with insults and acting. I can't wait to see what my English teacher has in store for us this week!


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