Tuesday, September 29, 2009
to be or not to be
' oh i can't stand her!'
'i don't like her either, i can't believe we have her again.'
these were the frustrated voices i heard about our new to me english literature teacher. i was new to the school so i had yet to learn the reputation of the teachers. she's wierd was the biggest complaint. the class was introduction to shakespeare and i was excited, and even more so because if she was wierd i was intrigued. but i did not let on, i'd be banished from the group.
we walked into class on this, the first day of school and there she was sitting crossed legged on top of her desk in front of the class room. i remember to this day her long loosed, flowing down her back hair, velvet purple pants and cowboy boots. she just sat there and watched as we took our seats. the chattering stopped as she sat there and waited for us to be quiet. she slid off the top of her desk and began to walk around the room while handing out fresh copies of the book we would begin with. shakespeare's macbeth. my first shakespeare reading. she asked us to open up to the very first page. i was mesmerised, and this meant i had to take my eyes off her.
before she even introduced herself she read aloud the opening lines of shakespeare... she had me!
i did not know the word back then in high school, but it turns out she was a hippie. more and more i understood this as she sauntered into class with her suede jackets with loose tassels and her multicolored pants. i loved her, i mean really. and to this day i still do. she was the one who introduced me to my love of literature and reading. and just as importantly she not only was an excellent teacher, she was kind and encouraging in my academic endeavors throughout high school. i am thankful to her and for her.
this past weekend i had the privilege to sit just a few feet away from the broadway stage that jude law did his hamlet on. he was gorgeous and magnificent. hamlet has come to nyc only for
12 weeks after having made it's tour in various parts of europe. if it comes your way, be sure to see it if you like shakespeare. i loved it! some of the audience thought it was too long, they said so while we piled out of the theatre afterwards. obviously they did not have my english lit teacher, mrs. herman, introduce shakespeare to them as she disguised her voice into a witch voice while reading the witch's part in macbeth. i was always happy to volunteer to be macbeth himself. i sat there the whole time in heaven as i watched jude law do that thing he does when he's spot on in his performance of a character.
i think that i thought that i was hiding my love of mrs. herman back then and her teaching abilities so that the other kids would not think that i was wierd too. but now that i think of it, i probably was only kidding myself. i was always in one of her classes, always in her office and always saying something that mrs. herman said. i hope she knew how much i loved her. her efforts still touch my life in the most wonderful way...