I have been a very poor blogger—taking more than a year off. My excuse is that I have been working very diligently on my Ph.D. Just before Christmas break, I passed my Research Component with flying colors. I’m scheduled to present my Dissertation Proposal this semester. Nonetheless, pardon my absence.
What does my research have to do with Shakespeare, you ask? Well, my degree will not be in English. Rather, it will be in English Education. There are many reasons I opted for this degree rather than a traditional English degree, but the most important one is that I wanted to learn how best to teach. To do that, I needed to understand the various theories and research in education. And yet, even here, my degree will still be focused on Shakespeare. My research is focused primarily on methods for Teaching Shakespeare; more specifically, how do we teach Shakespeare in schools, how have we taught him, and which methods are the most effective and which are the most efficient for an instructor’s goals? There is a long history of Shakespeare in American schools, and, because he is such a constant is most curriculums, focusing education research on him is not that far fetched. On top of having a very supportive advisor who is very excited about my research, I have also been lucky enough to have been taken under the wing of one of the Shakespeare professors in the English department. She’s granted me full access to her and her classes, and I’ve been studying her for a year now. Her students have also been very generous—many have granted me multiple interviews about what they feel works or doesn’t work, their experiences with and feelings on Shakespeare, among many other subjects. It has been wonderful. Studying her class has tripled my passion for teachings and especially for teaching Shakespeare. Sitting quietly and observing has been very difficult because, so often, I want to raise my hand with the exuberance of Hermione Granger and answer or asked questions.
All this is to say, I will work on a new Shakespeare blog soon—hopefully long before the Bard’s birthday. In the meantime, please take a look at this wonderful Tumblr—I’ve gotten to know the artist through emails over the last few months. She’s incredibly smart and very talented.
Thus, I leave you—for now—with one of my favorite insults from Macbeth. ““Go, prick thy face, and over-red thy fear, Thou lily-liver’d boy.” Macbeth 5.3.14-15