Monday, May 30, 2011

A Crowning Achievement


Charter schools. Public schools. Private schools. I get dizzy turning the possibilities over in my head.

What I've been able to glean is there are good and bad in all versions, depending on management.

We know where a fish starts rotting and, if we don't, it's time to take another gander at Hamlet and the state of Denmark.

The Shakespeare Club takes place in a public school, with a charter school sharing our campus. When the charter school moved in, their plan was to serve grades six and up because our school covers kindergarten through fifth.

Over the last couple of years, the charter school has grown, expanded to include fourth grade, and appears to be closing in on our classrooms like a dark cloud gaining momentum across Texas flatlands.

The Shakespeare Club was assigned use of the school auditorium a full year in advance...and then some scheduling snafu meant fighting for space and time and....Cripes, who has the energy?

Over the last five months, we were able to straighten out the mess and live peacefully in a manner many of us wish for Israel and Palestine.

Until.

Our props, which I stored in an offstage closet, began to disappear. It started with Egeus' walking stick. I searched fifteen minutes for the darn thing and found it tucked in a dark corner alongside our bongo drums. Had these two wandered off on their own like characters from "Toy Story"?

I chewed the inside of my cheek and let it go.

I became more vigilant and put a large sign over our bundle of props: DO NOT TOUCH!


The next week all four of our crowns were gone.

I marched over to the charter school office and said, "I'm not saying your students did this. I am saying they're on the top of the suspects list."

The crowns were returned after being located on the windowsill of a sixth-grade class of the charter school.

Their reasoning: "Our students said they found them on the floor of the auditorium."

When Shakespeare Club reconvened, I had the crowns tell their story. They spoke in English accents as only royals would.

"It was horrible!" declared King Theseus' coronet; "An outrage...I said, 'No...no...put me back this minute. I belong on Mark's head! I don't even know you!' "

"We'd never been in a sixth grader's hands," whimpered the Queen's tiara. "I begged, please...please I am meant for Phoebe. She's playing Titania and will worry so if she can't find me....Please have mercy!"

"Down, put me down this second!" This from Oberon's topper, "I said, 'You will pay, I promise you, you will pay handsomely for this crime! When Dominick finds out what you've done, it will be the end of you!'"

"And I was so frightened," the small voice of Hippolyta's crown piped up. "I said, 'I'm just a baby....I don't belong with you. I belong to Rebecca.' But they didn't listen to us."

"Toy Story," live-action.

Mark and Rebecca.


CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
If I had a life full of adventure I would to to Parris and walk to the top of the Iffel Tower and lookout to see all the views of Parris. I would also like to go to Hawii and explore the Hawian islands. I would also like to live in a Awesome 7 story mansion.
—Sabrina, 4th grade

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