Hamlet School began today.
Up at 6:30 am I quickly rustled up a yogurt cup over at Union Station and trotted over to Folger’s with several members of our Hamlet crew. We hoped we would remember together how to find our way there. If all walked in late we couldn’t get mass detention, right?
A very full day. I will say this–reflecting upon my years of teaching Hamlet, I know I could have taught it better. That’s one reason I applied to Folger’s Hamlet Summer Academy, to learn how to engage my students. Plus, Hamlet is THE favorite of all Shakespeare’s plays. After today, I could go home today fulfilled. I picked up so many tips and ideas I might have to teach Hamlet in the fall instead of spring I’m looking so forward to revamping my unit.
After a morning of focusing on the words and ways to enliven the interest of our students, we traipsed off the Folger Library. This is no ordinary library. In order to access the reference material we had to apply to become readers (ahem–scholars) and then receive photo IDs. No books leave the room. It’s all about Shakespeare–and then some.
We were taken down to a special viewing of rare books, including a First Folio, and the lease for Shakespeare’s house, meaning I touched an artifact that the Bard handled. *tingles* For a Bardinator that’s cool stuff. If you’re aren’t a Bardinator, this might not be so impresssive.
The afternoon involved reading lines, scenes, and eventually the play. Yes, it was a long day. I wonder how our students would fare if school consisted of 12 hour days?
I bid adieu to the remains of the day, exhausted, but still hoping to see more of the sights. My body tired, my mind is whirling from all the Hamletting done today.
“O, there had been throwing about of brains.”