Wednesday, May 11, 2011


"Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare! If you weren't born, there would be no Shakespeare Club!"

And with that we raised juice boxes because they are filled with 100% REAL FRUIT JUICE, don't you know? And we toasted our hero on his birthday.

I offered a quick math quiz. "How old would Shakespeare be if he were alive today?"


"Out with your journals."

Clatter, fall off chair, break pencil, clatter, drop journal, clatter some more...and so on and so forth.

"Here's what I wish for each of you: a life of peace, purpose and adventure."

"For peace, I hope you always have a roof over your head and food on your table."

"Like whatever we want to eat?"

"Sure, like these enjoyable Sun Chips that Peter's mom brought for our party. Now, the best way to find purpose is to help others even when they don't ask for help."

"What if they don't want you to help them?"

"Then walk away and find someone else. For adventure I suggest travel. You could travel in a boat, plane or a train or you could take a walk or you could read books, which are a great way to go on an adventure. Pick one of these topics and write....Ready? Set?...GO."

All Sun Chip crunching stopped. I looked at Rachel and whispered, "Sheesh, we could do this for the whole two hours....They're into it."

Most of the group wanted to share what they'd written. As they read aloud, Rachel and I passed out bowls of fruit salad as if we were old-fashioned airline stewardesses on an old-fashioned airline.

I turned on the documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom" and they watched, entranced by fifth graders in New York City fumbling about in waltzes, swings and foxtrots.

On screen a girl is heard saying, "I only want to date a boy who is smart and does good in school and doesn't sell drugs....That's the only kind of boy I would be interested in."

Natalie leaned over to Ellie and whispered, "That's so true! Me too!"

We were able to see a third of the film before moving on to animal crackers, carrots and dip, and a round of The Insults Game.

One by one the kids pulled a Shakespearean insult out of a bag and hurled it a chosen victim.

Thou art not so big as a round little worm!
Thou crusty botch of nature!
Peace, ye fat guts!

I would like to say the companion Compliments Game rang with equal enthusiasm...but that would be a lie.

We finished up with frosted cupcakes and a viewing of "The Simpsons" featuring their versions of "Hamlet" and "Macbeth."

I could be a party planner, I mused.

As they exited the auditorium, I handed each child a Godiva chocolate cookie and good wishes for a great spring break.

Then Rachel and I stacked chairs, picked up garbage, stored journals and wished each other an even better spring break.

I carried bags of junk to my car and thought, I am a party planner. That's what I do every week when we celebrate the works of the Bard of Avon.

Happy birthday, my lord, my liege.

CHILDREN'S WRITES: Journal Entries

If I had a life of peace, I would hope to have a big house and long table full many different delicous food on it. When ever people come to my house, I would get the same compliment about the house for example Wow! what a big, fancy cool house you've got and look at those beautiful hanging shandilears.
Mariah, 4th grade


If I lived with purpose I would help poor people, my famiely, and anyone who needs help. I would help them even if they don't ask. But first I'll say do you need help. And I'll even join the peace quier. I love helping people one day when I grow up I want a resturant. I want a resurant so homeless would come. And I would put a sign on the window saing homeless allowed w/pets and don't have to pay.
Lizzie, 5th grade

If I had a live of adventure I would go inside Justin Biebers mind and see what he's thinking. then I would go in his stomache and see what he just ate. Then I would go in his brain and see how smart he was. After I would go in his heart and see if he was still alive because I would never want Justin Bieber to die.
—Carina, 3rd grade

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