Katherine: Huthie! You didn't stand up for the pledge!
Katherine: But it's the pledge!
Me: I know. I was silently respectful, unlike you, who was yelling at me through it.
Katherine: I think you should turn to god for help, Miss Huth.
Me: Um, thanks. I hope it works.
Katherine: Oh, I'm just kidding, Miss.
Me: I know. And I also know you're just stalling right now.
Grace: Speaking of stalling . . . it's really cold in here.
(Murmurs of agreement from others.)
Me: Yes, I know. Okay. On to Hamlet . . .
Katherine: Well, Miss, you're all set with that big ol' sweater of yours.
Me: Uh huh. And back to the play . . . Act III, scene 2 . . .
Blanche: Excuse me, please. What's "strumpet" mean?
Me: Um, someone with loose morals.
Katherine: Like a skank?
Me: Hmmm. Yes. Like a skank.
Amanda: Or a ho?
Me: Um, yes, kind of like that, too.
Blanche: Thanks. Okay. Act III, scene 2 . . .
Grace: Hamlet reminds me of House.
Me: What? Dr. House on TV?
(Murmurs of agreement from the class)
Grace: I know, right?
Me: Hmmmm . . .
Grace: You don't see it?
Me (considering): No. I guess I do.
Grace: See? I just made a real-life connection to Hamlet! I should get 10 points for that!
Me: Why don't I just give you breathing points as well? Anna, I think that's worth only about 3 points, right?
(Anna, trying desperately not to be drawn into this, laughs a bit and shrugs.)
Me: See? Anna says only 3 points. If you want to explain your point, I'd be happy to hear it.
Grace: It's the way he talks to everyone, especially to Ophelia and Polonius. Like, he's always cracking inside jokes and making fun of them. House is always doing that.
Me: True. I guess I'll take your "real life connection." Should we take a moment to discuss the similarities between Hamlet and Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart?
Grace, Blanche, et.al: Naw. We're good. Act III, scene 2 . . .