Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “Miracle Worker”

What We Say: #6


The house is at sixes and sevens
from morning ’til night over the
child! I want some peace here, I
don’t care how, but one way we
won’t have it is by rushing up and
down the country every time someone
hears of a new quack.

–Captain Keller from the William Gibson play The Miracle Worker

This is the first, and perhaps only time I’ve heard the expression “sixes and sevens” used. Looking at context clues I figured it meant to be in some sort of disarray or confusion.  Turns out I’m not too far from my figuring.

History
Apparently in Olde England, even going back to Chaucer’s time, there once existed a dice game that involved throwing the nearly impossible combination of sixes and sevens and was referred to as “on six and seven.” Eventually the phrase turned to “sixes and sevens” meaning the recklessness of trying for something that is difficult to obtain. Today it generally means to be in a state of confusion.

English: A pair of dice Español: Dados cúbicos.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Application
Although it is not a popular phrase today, at least I don’t hear it much, it does make sense.  Its use is perfect in The Miracle Worker since it definitely describes the chaos that comes with having to cope with Helen Keller’s frantic and undisciplined state of behavior before Annie Sullivan arrives to become Teacher.

My Thoughts
If a situation starts to get out of hand and sense can’t be found, I tend to say, “I can’t make heads nor tails of this!” or “This is crazy!”  Saying the situation is “sixes and sevens” just doesn’t cut the mustard. for me.

Hmm, chasing quacks, making heads nor tails, cutting mustard…I have more research to do about What I Say.

#4: Required Reading for High School English


Having recently plunked out my series list caused me to wonder about creating other lists.  Yes, I am a confessed list maker.  I have Post-It squares tacked all over the place of To-Dos, Epiphanies, Story Starts, Poem Parts, and Lesson Plan Pundits.  The Cricket List will be an on-going project.  Today’s offering is #4: Required reading in high school English.  I encourage your suggestions:

The Cricket List:

1. Children’s authors and selected titles

2.  YA authors and selected titles

3.  Picture books

4.  Required reading in high school English:

  • The Outsiders(teens haven’t changed too much in the thirty years this has been out)
  • The Miracle Worker (Helen Keller is a hero favorite and goes a long way in learning about overcoming adversity)
  • Pride and Prejudice (all man/woman hate-at-first sight movies stem from this gem)
  • Sherlock Holmes (the original, to understand why Robert Downey and Jude Law’s version is pure entertainment)
  • Frankenstein (a riveting read and shows the fallacy of Hollywood’s meddling)
  • Jules Verne (original science fiction master storyteller)
  • Julius Caesar (politics gone wrong)
  • Hamlet (love-revenge-hate-murder-intrigue-dueling-witty wordplay–who could ask for more in a plot)
  • Taming of the Shrew (Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus four hundred years ago)
  • Othello (Shakespeare was ahead of his time with this tale)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (a light-hearted romp which shows not all is tragedy on Shakespeare’s plate)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (timeless classic which showcases the South both in a positive and negative way)
  • The Once and Future King (or some version of King Arthur–I like John Steinbeck‘s version)
  • Stargirl (beautiful story of not conforming to peer pressure or the consequences when one does)
  • John Donne‘s Holy Sonnet X (Death Be Not Proud)
  • She Walks in Beauty (timeless appreciation of beauty)
  • Rime of the Ancient Mariner (To understand Pirates of the Caribbean better)
  • Beowulf (so you can boo/hiss at the animated version and hope it will be done correctly someday)
  • Canterbury Tales (when you rewatch A Knight’s Tale you will laugh at the inside jokes)
  • Steinbeck (Grapes of Wrath, of course)
  • Mark Twain (American Lit wouldn’t be the same without him)
  • The Odyssey (understanding the epicness of heroes and their journey)
  • Romeo and Juliet (umm, how could one not read R&J?)

5.  Beach Reads

6.  Must reads

7. Saw the movie, then read the book

8.  Read the book, wish it were a movie

9. Poems to know and grow on

10. GoodRead gotta-get-to-someday reads

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