Panic At the Mead Hall!

Monday, October 10, 2016

I'm going to make a confession here. I never really liked Beowulf. Um, at all. The only thing I remember liking about it in college was the phrase "whale road" which is right at the beginning so it was all downhill from there as far as I was concerned. The only thing I liked about it when I read it to one of my classes a few years ago was how much they liked it. It was so gory, and they were all sixth grade boys, so it just worked. I personally thought it was icky. But y'all, THIS TIME? I totally got into it. I had a translation that I really loved, which helped a ton. Also, maybe I'm a bit smarter now? We didn't study Beowulf in the Circe apprenticeship, but we did a lot of work that helped me understand how to better approach and understand and appreciate literature. Even if you don't particularly feel excited about it because it's full of gross battles in the mead hall! 

We finished Beowulf and spent last week writing about it (in most of my classes, anyway. My eighth graders are reading different books, and I have an alternate class that's reading Pride and Prejudice because they've already done most of our medieval lit) and then finished off with a rousing party because that seemed fitting.

I decorated my classroom like Heorot, complete with a charming severed Grendel arm and an amazing pig-on-a-spit-over-a-fake-fire that my mom had just finished making for the Fall Festival.

"Why is it a HUMAN hand, Mrs. H? Grendel wasn't human!"
"Because I couldn't find any disembodied monster hands lying around."
" could find disembodied human hands easy??"
"Let's not dwell on that too long."


"Is that fire really hot?"
"It's as hot as your mix tape, dear."

And we feasted on grapes, baked apples, fresh bread, (root) beer, and roast chickens that we tore into with our bare hands LIKE VIKINGS.

Everyone came during lunch to watch The Hobbit (because we had talked endlessly about the similarities and the inspiration, etc., and because there aren't any Beowulf movies that I'm willing to show my students except for some fairly hilarious Lego Beowulf youtube movies, but those are really short) and eat, even the kids who weren't in the Beowulf classes. Good times!

I love, love, love getting to do stuff like this. Even baking bread at five o'clock in the morning, then running around to find a fake hand in the theatre room, all with my baby in tow because GiGi was home sick. Even if my Pride and Prejudice class is now demanding a tea party WITH FRESH SCONES YASSSSSSS PLEASE! 

We have fun, y'all.

1 comment:

  1. Just discovered this, and read it at 12:30AM b/c I couldn't stop and wait til the morning.
    I want to go read Beowulf, in the morning.
    Love the pictures.


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