Friday, December 2, 2011

The Twister: Mark



For a long time after Shakespeare Club ends, I write about it.

For a long time, I study photographs of the kids and our time together.

For a long, long time, I am awash in nostalgia and miss them.

Mark had two years as an actor in The Shakespeare Club. He came in as an undisciplined, raggle-taggle bundle of speedy energy, but my God, the boy wanted to succeed.

This is one of the many challenges I discovered in the role of teacher. Spotting the underneath, the desire, the ability — and bringing that to the forefront.

This is no mean feat, because one has to negotiate past the steely truth of horsing around and the emotional chaos of cool and hormones.

But....

Look at this photograph. Mark is enrapt in character:


I said, "Mark, your Duke Theseus simply cannot believe how crummy these actors are....You try to be polite, you try to give them a break...but they're horrible!"

At the end of each meeting, Mark helped clean up as he waited for his mom. Mark and Oliver gathered chairs and swept up crumbs. Then they rolled across the floor and wrestled like a pair of pups.

Corralling that vigor into Shakespearean text was a leap for those boys, and for me, but it was so, so worth it.

Like real actors, they ultimately wanted to please, to make someone smile, to add an element of surprise, and to be great.

Mark, in his skinny, spinning, raucous manner, will find his place as a man one day...one day, when he can get up off the floor.


CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
If I had a life of adventure I would go to a trip to candyland were all we ate was junk food and everything was made out of candy. For example, are cloths would be made out of gummy bears and worms. Then me and my friends would go on a great big adventure, we go on a chocolate river boat with an ice cream river.
Kamili, 5th grade

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