I usually write about writing in some way, but in this post, I want to talk about teaching Shakespeare. The spring semester is over, but as an adjunct professor, I teach the entire year. I am not complaining about this situation, because I love my work, just explaining the schedule.
I have loved Shakespeare most of my life—the reading of the plays, the viewing of productions, acting in them, directing one production, writing about the plays, and teaching the plays. I studied Shakespeare as one of my areas of specialization in graduate school, so I am always excited when I have the opportunity to teach Will. Shakespeare has been a lifelong companion.
This college class is being held at The Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College. Because this is an adult evening college, which also administers the summer session, all of the students in my class are adults. They are working towards their undergraduate degrees as are the traditional age students, but they bring the added responsibility and attentiveness to the class that comes with maturity and experience. I love teaching both traditional and non-traditional students, but both bring different needs and different expectations.
The class has just begun, because the first summer session has already started. I have held the first class, which was an introductory lecture on Shakespeare’s theater and England at the time. Tomorrow we will begin examining the plays. We will cover some of the comedies in the first half of the session and some of the tragedies in the second half. By the end of 12 classes during the span of 6 weeks, we will read and explored 9-10 plays. The first play of the course will be one of my favorites: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I feel like I have a special relationship with this comedy, because I have studied it, taught it, written about it, acted in it, and directed it. It was also the play of the first live Shakespeare production that I saw when I was in 10th grade.
I am looking forward to teaching Shakespeare!