Teaching Shakespeare is never easy. But teaching Shakespeare to a classroom of mostly English Language Learners? It’s not only difficult, but hilarious.
This morning I began reading Romeo & Juliet to my ninth graders. We had already gone over the history of Shakespeare’s life, the history of Elizabethan England, and what was considered popular entertainment at the time (think bear baiting, public executions and cockfights–and yes, “cockfights” evoked some serious laughter from the 14-year-old boys in the room.) Now it was time to discuss puns.
1. A decent shower.
Over the past few years I’ve learned that I had it good in Florida. Hot water, steady pressure—a shower head that was a comfortable distance from my skull. In Korea, I had one of those all-inclusive bathrooms where you shower over the toilet. In Colombia, I had a faucet that was heated by a faulty electric cord. Now in China, I am currently battling to keep the water anywhere between 15 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. I will, however, give props to Chinese showers for having heating lamps in the ceilings. Nicely done.