Today I’m subbing a 10th grade English class and am helping the kids read through Julius Caesar. As you may remember from your high school days, the students are assigned roles to read and we’re to go through the first two scenes of Act I. As I listened to 1st period stumble through the words I’d pause periodically to ask them if the knew what was going on. At almost every turn the kids had no idea what was happening. Shakespeare may as well be gibberish to them. I’d even re-read a short quote and they’d have trouble figuring out what the sentence meant. I’m not sure if it was like this when I was in school…I think it was, considering what I remember of some of my classes…but this makes me glad I’m not an English teacher. I want to work through primary sources with my History students and those can be as difficult as Shakespeare – but I’m glad this isn’t my primary assignment. Although it was nice being able to sort of translate for them and see some of them actually get what was happening.