Thursday, 20 September 2012


Fellow soldiers,

Today I took up the heavy mantle of commander of the Seventh Legion. To explain my promotion, I must start at the beginning. In seventh grade, we had just finished Three Skeleton Key, a horror story by George G. Toudouze, about a lighthouse overrun with deadly Dutch rats, and as I love analysis, we analyzed the depiction of the rats, who were described among other things as being wise, brave, strong, fierce, vengeful, clannish rats, soldiers even, "besiegers" who threw themselves into the "breach," who divided and conquered, whose leader was appropriately named Nero.

The word "phalanx" came up, which tipped off a long-winded explanation of military strategy and for homework they had independently to research phalanx formations throughout the ages. They did, of course, (my students are nothing if not brilliant) and they presented their information in class, after which I armed them with sword and shield and led them stalwartly down four flights of stairs to the football field to have them march in tight testudo formation. Their pattern was not particularly successful, and my legion went every which way, not listening to their commander, wielding their swords about and shouting at unsuspecting birds. I heard later that we had been watched from the offices, and I can imagine that our audiences must have been deeply appreciative to view the splendor of our fine swordsmanship and steady march.

What did we accomplish this class period?

Absolutely nothing.

But does it really matter?


Nicole's Adventures said...

You're a brave woman! :)

Nicole's Adventures said...

You're a brave woman! Good for you for giving the students such a memorable experience :)

NJM said...

Did they bring in their own props?? This is impressive!

S.L. Gabriel said...

No, I scrounged those from the drama department and the shields from the late chivalry club. I climbed around in the dark recesses under the stage.