Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Et tu, Brute?

Julius Caesar Theme #4: Blind Ambition Bites You in the Butt

We practiced at lunch, before school and after... in between classes at break and cleaning time too. I pulled the kids out on my free time and ran lines, standing on the school's balcony in rain storms screaming speeches into the pouring sky...
I wrote letters home to your parnets, drew sketches for you to ponder, downloaded articles to inspire, pulled you into dark rooms to watch clips of Marlon Brando standing on Roman steps in black and white and Gilligan's Island episodes of Hamlet by the lagoon.
I just wanted to inspire you. I just wanted you to think. I wanted to give you this little frame to look through when you try to make sense of the world.
I know it worked. When you see me in the hallways and shout out, "He doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus!" or "The evil that man do lives after them, but the good is often interred with their bones..." I am tickled beyond the human capacity for blushing. And it's not the eternal Bard's words that warm my cheeks, but your shinning visage reciting these well loved ryhmes back to me. You learned something, didn't you? A way of speaking that goes beyond the phrase book... you learned eloquence.
Nothing can take that away... nothing... So when the school calls me into the office and gives me bad news... I think of you. And when the man on the street curses me for no reason... I think of you. And when your fellow students fall and refuse my help in standing up... well, you can understand me in full now.
I drove you... I screamed and hollered and threw things at you... I chased you out of my classroom during practice...I threatened... I begged... I pleaded... and after all this hard work... we have our memories to show for it.

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