Tuesday, April 26, 2011
BBQ Chicken and R. Kelly
To ease them (and let's be honest, myself) back into thinking and working, I thought we'd do a fairly easy lesson of Shakespearean sonnets. My hook for this was a journal prompt about romance. Shakespeare knew how to talk to a woman. The oft quoted line "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun..." is about how he loves his woman for other reasons than her beauty. He spends three quatrains saying "Yeah, she's not particularly beautiful, her hair's not that great, lips aren't particularly red, cheeks aren't rosey so much, kinda has bad breath....", but then he moves in with the good stuff in the ending couplet! He says that he is certain he loves his woman much more than all the posers out there who go on and on about how gorgeous their women are. Good stuff!
With this in mind, I asked my students to write a paragraph about romance. Real, as I put it, "above the waist romance". Ladies, how does a man show he cares about you? Gentlemen, how do you show a woman that you truly love her, not just want to get something from her? Instantly, the girls started writing. The guys took a little longer, looking perplexed about the very nature of the question. The girls, for the most part, had it right and to be honest, I was impressed by their self-respect. They talked about wanting someone who cared about them, was respectful, listened to them, and took the time to make them feel special.
"Let's hear from one of the boys!" I said. Remember DeWayne and DeShaun the twins? The "Good Christian Boys"? Well, DeWayne was removed from my class and put into remediation after he so miserably failed the SOLs, it was determined he needed to be in a special class that addressed an 11th grader who apparently can barely read. He was actually the lesser thorn in my side, but it is somewhat better without him there to feed off his brother. Anyway, DeShaun raises his hand and says, with total seriousness and confidence,
"First I would walk in the room with my head high and a lean in my step <think the pimp walk> and I would put on some smooth jams, like R. Kelly." Okay, I'm going to stop right there for a second. I heard R. Kelly mentioned several times today. Is he not the disgusting individual who enjoyed urinating on under-age girls??? Anyhoo...DeShaun went on, "Then I would tell her I was a love machine and I only worked for her," I'm sure The Miracles are somewhere filing a lawsuit, "and I would tell her that her eyes are so bright they are like a flashlight, lightin' up the room," nice cheesy simile, but I was still trying not to judge until he ended with, "and then I would say, 'Now let's go get some BBQ chicken and then get busy!'"
The girls were horrified. They made all kinds of disgusted comments. Even the guys were shaking their heads. Meanwhile, poor clueless DeShaun had a look of total bewilderment on his face. There isn't enough R. Kelly in the world to make up for that kind of cluelessness!