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Monday, December 04, 2006

Commentary

Today in my British literature class, a group of actors from the Great Lakes Theater Company came to do some exercises on Macbeth. Two weeks before, I had a difficult time getting 28 teenage girls to consider Macbeth a masterpiece. After the actors left class this morning I thought how much more difficult it might be for them to begin anew with these very same teenagers. Moreover, these actors really go into what they were doing. I suppose you would have to, I mean, play the part to the utmost of your ability. Somehow it all seemed surreal to me. I don't think I could've been so enthusiastic if placed in the same position. I do have a passion for teaching, and I do the best I can to make all of this material relevant, but it is hard to compete with popular culture; a culture that is only driven by the given pleasure and immediate gratification and entertainment. Frankly, as I watched this morning proceedings I felt a bit of panic. Some of the girls made faces as if to say, "how uncool," while others just stood there with a fake blase of interest. And imagine, these actors will be here all week! Hope it gets better.

So I read more from "The Letters of James Wright." Marvelous how some people have such an incredible gift to be so communicative using letters. I wonder if he worked off drafts. I used to write regular letters to a friend in NYC and I remember jotting little things on margins of books, things I wanted to mention to my friend, which is kind of a draft for a letter, no? At any rate, Wright mentions something about his love for books and how little money he had to indulge in the luxury of purchasing books (especially a collection of poems by Swift). Reminded me of my old college days. I enjoy reading these letters, little by little. I am learning a great deal about poetry from this book.

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