Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Delusion in Lit

I have had a lot of strange and, well, crappy teachers in my school career but one stands out for me as the most deluded. Mrs. Case was my grade 12 English and English Lit teacher. We called her Mrs. Space Case because she was so ditzy. Not stupid but just elderly and a little out of it. English has always been one of my favourite subjects but classes with her were different from anything I had experienced before. I went to three different high schools and the one I went to in my last year contained mostly English As Second Language students from various parts of Asia. This made any English class interesting as 90% of your classmates could barely speak the language.

I thought this might actually work to my advantage as I would look extra smart in class. Also it turned out that at this school part of the grade 12 English Lit curriculum was Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth.’ Well it just so happened that I had, by changing schools, studied 'Macbeth' two other times. I knew it backwards and forwards. Inside and out. Three times was going to be a charm and I was going to kick ASS in Mrs. Space Case’s class.

So I turned into that obnoxious type of student whose hand shoots up with alarming speed and regularity followed by a smug synopsis including far more info than requested and required. I was positively revolting to be around. But, DAMMIT, I knew 'Macbeth' and everybody was going to know just HOW MUCH I knew about it.

Now in the story Lady Macbeth goes a little batshit one night and wrings her hands hallucinating wildly that they are covered in blood that she can't wash off. She has a bad case of the guilts as she and the hubs have murdered a huge shwack of people. It is all pretty cool and dramatic a la Shakespeare and I always identify with the crazy woman in any story.

So in class Mrs. Space Case reads that part of the play and then asks the class what they think is happening in the scene. Of course my hand shoots up reaching warp speed because I know I can spew for days all about her guilt and the witches’ prophecies and how crazy the lady really was. I could and would convey the scope of her insanity to my classmates (who hardly understood me) with dramatic voice and hand motions. I give my spiel and sit back in my chair waiting for my deserved praise.

“Wrong,” Mrs. Case said. “That is not right at all.”

Well, I was stunned but it only got worse. She asked me, “What happens to ladies once a month that involves blood?”

What? Um….*BLUSH*….”Your period?!?” I choke out, totally embarrassed as the whole class is looking at me in mortification.

Mrs. Case went on, “That is right class. Lady Macbeth got her period in the middle of the night and had to get up to wash her panties.” “Out, out, damned spot!”

Oh…my…god.

She was serious. I could only wonder how many DECADES she had been teaching this lovely little tidbit to her students. I wonder how many university English professors had that special piece of knowledge added to various term papers or classroom discussion over the years.

I pretty much entirely shut up in her class after that.

18 comments:

stampydurst said...

Oh. My. God. Kranki, this reads like a painful afterschool special - "Lady Macbeth Becomes a Woman". Please tell me that the other students understood enough English to laugh LOUDLY. And yet you still became a creative and intelligent adult. I'm not sure what this says about nature and nurture, but it sure is one hell of a story.

fueltank said...

I don't know, kinda adds an interesting twist to the inception of madness. All the supernatural hints in the world and it takes something physical to push her over the edge...

Just sayin' is all.

whfropera said...

and she could just chalk that whole murder thing up to a bad case of PMS.

jar said...

I loved MacBeth but somehow my teacher missed that little gem of knowledge. I'll never think of that story the same again!

jar said...

I mean Macbeth. Can't spell worth a darn.

lawbrat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
lawbrat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
lawbrat said...

I can't believe it. Wow. Very interesting.

And you were the lucky one to say 'period' in 12th grade, in front of the class.

eclectic said...

I was horrified... until I saw Whfropera's comment -- which got me giggling so bad, I can't even be properly indignant! However, indignance is definitely the proper emotion, and I'll get right back to it as soon as I stop giggling. Really. :)

kalki said...

Rob had a 12th grade English teacher like that. They bribed her with chocolate - if a student brought her some, she'd let the whole class just hang out the entire period.

Heh, I said period.

Jeannette said...

Oh lordy, she did not! Shakespeare must roll over in his grave each time that interpretation is told. I never heard such a thing in my life! It is both comical and tragic at the same time, which, now that I think of it, is somewhat appropriate afterall -- comedy and tragedy.

Hope you and Yoshi are settling in to your new place, haven't had any more fires, and are feeling good these days.

LadyBug said...

I think "Oh...my...god..." pretty much sums it up.

lawyerchik said...

100s of teaching students out of work, and your class had to suffer through THAT? Yiketh. :)

Random and Odd said...

OMG. I would have DIED.

alan said...

Amazing...I can't believe she got away with teaching that for all those years!

alan

lawyerchik said...

BTW, I found a "contact us" link on YouTube, and I let them know how idiotic I thought their removal of your darling video was. Hopefully, they will reconsider and repost the video. If not, Yahoo! has a similar site.... :)

JP said...

No wonder Lady MacBeth went so apeshit about that spot! Who knew??? =)

Squirl said...

PMS is responsible for all those deaths now? Yeah, that woman was crazier than Lady Macbeth. Shit!