Text Analysis

April 30th, 2012 → 6:39 am

“Not to crack the wind of the poor phrase,
Running it thus.”  – Hamlet

In my day job as a professor I came across a couple of academic articles about Shakespeare last week.  They involve textual analysis on Shakespeare’s sonnets – where the researcher breaks the text into distinct words and phrases and empirically evaluates them.  I found it fascinating, although at the same time somehow blasphemous to break Shakespeare’s sonnets up into mere words and evaluate them that way.  What is in a word?

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art


April 28th, 2012 → 7:49 am

“I know a wench of excellent discourse,
Pretty and witty; wild and yet, too, gentle.”  – The Comedy of Errors

I recently went back to some of the dusty books in the far reaches of the shelves of my library and found The Collected Stories of Colette.  I read Colette as a child and loved her.  The verve, the honesty, the forthrightness.  She’s still great (though I think I prefer the Claudine novels to the short stories).  Indeed, I feel like she’s one of a class of very, very few authors who write fiction about women and not in a hokey, harlequin, boring way.  I wish there was more authors like her.  She makes “female” literature great.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Happy Belated Birthday!!

April 27th, 2012 → 8:48 am

A reader reminded me that I forgot to wish the bard a happy birthday on April 23. My mistake! Happy belated birthday Shakespeare!! Although, in truth, we don’t know his exact birth date for certain so who knows, maybe my wishes aren’t late at all!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Poem in Your Pocket Day

April 26th, 2012 → 7:51 am

Today is national Poem in Your Pocket Day.  In honor of which I spent a bunch of time last night rereading Shakespeare’s sonnets.  It was hard to pick just one for today, and I debated using one of my tried and true favorites (such as sonnet 30 or sonnet 116), but decided in the end to go for a fun new one.

The following sonnet captures a moment in time, when a lover fears for just a second that his love says she ‘hates’ him, when actually she ends up saying she ‘hates not you.’  Phew!

Those lips that Love’s own hand did make
Breathed forth the sound that said “I hate”
To me that languished for her sake;
But when she saw my woeful state,
Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Chiding that tongue that ever sweet
Was used in giving gentle doom,
And taught it thus anew to greet:
“I hate” she altered with an end
That followed it as gentle day
Doth follow night, who, like a fiend,
From heaven to hell is flown away.
   “I hate” from hate away she threw,
   And saved my life, saying “not you.”  – Sonnet 145

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Semester’s End

April 24th, 2012 → 6:16 am

“Is this the promised end?” – King Lear

It’s not just me, I can see it in my student’s eyes – “Are we almost there yet?  Are there really just two weeks of classes left?”  Hello, summer break!  Now if I can just get through all this grading…

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life

Earth Day

April 22nd, 2012 → 7:32 am

“The art itself is Nature.” – The Winter’s Tale

Happy Earth Day!!

Filed under: Blog & Other

Getting an Education – Not?

April 20th, 2012 → 7:58 am

“I am no breeching scholar in the schools;
I’ll not be tied to hours nor ‘pointed themes,
But learn my lessons as I please myself.”  – The Taming of the Shrew

We’ve been hearing for a long time about problems in the K-12 school system in the U.S.  Increasingly, we’re hearing it with regards to secondary education as well (though for a positive outlook, look here).  I don’t doubt that there are problems with both, but I do maintain that the problems are not entirely the fault of the teachers or the schools.  Students have to be prepared to be in school and they have to want to be there.  You can’t teach to a student who either never shows up for class, or who insists from day one that schools have nothing to teach them and they shall ‘learn their lessons as they please themselves.’   There’s responsibility to go around for everyone here in explaining the problems we face.

Filed under: Blog & Other

Anders Behring Breivik

April 18th, 2012 → 7:40 am

“What a brood of traitors have we here!” – Henry VI

Anders Behring Breivik is the Norwegian man on trial right now for killing 77 people last summer.  He claims he did it to defend Norway against traitorous immigrants, when in truth, he is the traitor.  He has sold out common decency for the benefit of villainous horror.

Filed under: Blog & Stupid/Evil People

Returning Home

April 16th, 2012 → 5:45 am

“Journeys end in lovers meeting.” – Twelfth Night

Can’t wait for the traveling to be done and to return to my family!

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life


April 14th, 2012 → 6:34 am

“Travelers must be content.” – As You Like It

I’m traveling for work right now, and enjoying the people I am meeting and the things I am doing, but still missing home like a shadow at my back.  At least the hotel I am staying at has copious pillows, and they are labeled “soft” and “firm,” which I appreciate!  I’m using the “firm” ones to lean against when I read at night, and the “soft” ones for actually sleeping.  I wish more hotels did this.

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life