Current/Recent Reading List

06 December 2006

Hell for the Holidays

So we’ve been studying The Divine Comedy this week, but our textbook (natch) only has excerpts from Inferno. Without any Purgatorio or Paradiso, this makes for grim Christmas-time fodder – and I added to the festive mood by copying an additional section of Canto’s 32 and 33 for them, where Count Ugolino forever gnaws on the back of his enemy’s head and recounts the story of cannibalizing his children. Peace on Earth, people, but not in the Inferno.

Anyhow, I’ve tailored a cool poster project for the class (stolen from the internet, of course), through which the kids get to create their own geography of Hell, and include their own nine circles, along with appropriate punishments and potential inhabitants. This, needless to say, requires a good deal of policing, but also contains much amusement. To wit:

“Mr. P., we’re going to put a circle for fags.” (idea rejected by Mr. P.)

“We’ve got a circle for preps. Hey, M_ _ _ _ th, can we use you as an example?” (idea only acceptable to Mr. P. if M _ _ _ _ _th had no problem with it. Since she did, idea rejected by Mr. P.)

“We’re putting Bill Clinton in our Perverts circle. Who was that Monica Lewinsky lady, again? A figure skater?” (other student: “No, dummy. You’re talking about Tara Lipinski.”)

“If we can’t put in homosexuals, can we put in metrosexuals?” (idea approved by Mr. P.)

“Can our ninth circle be for Carolina fans (note: as in Tar Heels, for you non-resident readers) ?” (idea warmly received and approved by Mr. P.)

“Well, we’re going to put in a circle for State fans, and put Mr. P. in as an example.” (idea coldly received, but approved, by Mr. P.)

(While student searches for appropriate poster images on internet) “Hey Mr. P! Come look at this big fat guy!” (you don’t want to know what Mr. P. saw when he foolishly complied)

And all this, just after Day One. Can’t wait to see the results on Friday, when the projects are due. I also can’t wait to see how many times I show up in Hell, aside from my usual appearance there during second period each day.

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