Thursday, March 26, 2009

Below is a journal entry for the last day of the trip to England with my 9th grade students:

Day 8, Thursday, March 12

     Although it’s like selecting one mountain peak in a whole range of beautiful mountains, this day might have been the high point of the trip for me. It began with a very satisfying English class in the spacious living room at the Hostel. The scholars (as usual) were attentive and courteous, and I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing with them the main themes in “The Tempest”. We had spent many weeks reading and studying the play back at school, and this review felt like an affectionate look back down a beautiful trail we had traveled.

     After the class, we rode the public bus into the village of Stratford, where the kids strolled off in groups to find their lunches, which enabled we teachers to wander the streets of this picturesque and celebrated town on our own. I ended up at a woolen store where I purchased two handsome Irish sweaters.

     We all met again and walked a few blocks to the theater, where we quickly found our seats and settled in for a truly astonishing performance of “The Tempest”. The production had more sparkle and force than I would have imagined possible on a stage. There were enormous puppets, colorful costumes, a startling set, and the kind of acting a person sees perhaps once in a lifetime. I was deeply moved by the entire show. The great themes of love and forgiveness shone out from the stage with intensity and consolation. It felt like an epiphany of sorts for me. I sat stunned in my seat for ten minutes after the final curtain.  




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