My daughter is heading off to college next year but I don’t care, they’ll all be geeklets to the day I die.
Today I’m at work (from home) when I get a text:
“Do you have Hamlet?”
It’s a new semester and she’d mentioned they’re doing Hamlet, so that was not an unexpected question. I love when the kids need to draw on my Shakespeare library, it’s why I’ve been building it over the years. Just the other day I found a Taming of the Shrew in my mailbox – my oldest had let one of her friends borrow it last semester, and she was returning it.
“Which version?” I ask, because you don’t get full dad points if you don’t drag stuff like this out unnecessarily. I honestly don’t know how many Hamlets I have. I don’t typically collect individual editions, there are too many. I do have multiple “Complete Works”, though.
“Uhhh,” comes the reply. “Hamlet. High school. Just Hamlet.”
“Well there’s Arden, Riverside, Folger … ” I reply, then go looking to see what’s on my shelf. I find the Arden edition, which is a bit intimidating. I fear she’s looking for one of those glorified pocket editions that’s just the text with a few glossary words sprinkled down the edges. This is very much not that. Less than half of each page is actual play text, the rest is footnotes. Great for research, but probably overkill for this assignment.
Later that evening, at dinner, I find. out that she relayed this question to her teacher. “Did your dad tell you to ask that?” said the teacher. My reputation precedes me!
I can’t wait to see how it goes. I”m probably going into her class at some point, though to do what and speak on what, I’m not sure. I’m willing to pretty much go off the top of my head, as long as I can keep the kids’ attention. That was easier when they were in elementary school.
For comparison, my son did Julius Caesar last semester. I knew this was on the curriculum. And I heard about it in the context of, “Oh, yeah, we’re doing Julius Caesar in history class.” I said let me know if you need help. He said, “We finished it.” The closest I got to any actual content was when he mentioned “some guy talking at a funeral”. Sigh. I guess I teased him too often with “I’m coming in to your history class to talk about Shakespeare when you get to that topic.” Both girls got a kick out of that, and at one point had a school reputation as the Shakespeare experts. My son, on the other hand, will bend over backward to make sure his friends and classmates never see me 🙂