October 7, 2009

What Might Have Been

Have you ever had a carrot dangled in front of you, only to have it cruelly and maliciously snatched away at the last minute?

Such is the case with my community education literature course.

A few months back, I interviewed to teach a Chaucer course at at local senior center, but was asked to lead a book group on Twilight instead. I didn't have a problem with the syllabus switch-a-roo because the texts in question are of equal literary merit and as such, are pretty much interchangeable.

I have spent the better part of the past four months preparing for the course by watching clips from the movie on YouTube and buying up "I heart Edward" mood rings on the Internet. To my utter despair, this morning I received a phone call from Pauline, my semi-coherent contact at the Community Education Office. She had bad news. The course was being canceled due to low enrollment!

WHAT?!

She went onto explain that the enrollment issue was a mute point: at the eleventh hour, the Board of Directors decided to pull the Twilight class from their list of course offerings because they deemed it too controversial and too racy.

Pauline concluded the conversation with a gesture of sympathy and goodwill. She asked if I would be willing to teach something with more mass appeal and fewer sexual overtones...like the Merchant's Tale.

32 comments

marybt said...

I take it she hasn't read Chaucer? lol.

Kim Ginsberg said...

Not really well read is she?! Why don't you suggest some Danielle Steele, that may be a little more "PG"!

Sarah said...

I am so sorry!

Parenting Ink said...

As a fellow British English nerd, I understand your disappointment. As a Twilight fan (how sad is that?), too, I understand the emotional upheaval.
The Merchant's Tale would be good, but the Wife of Bath....SHE'S the bawdy one! I think she's the original cougar.
Let us know how the seniors like it.

Maya said...

Hahahahaha!

We once had to make a video on The Merchant's Tale for my HS English lit class.....we used Beanie Babies.

Too Many Hats said...

Me thinks, the board that determines such things is not well read. That really is a disappointment after all your hard work. I bet the mood rings look good though.

darlene said...

what can you expect in a class from someone who wears ... *paper underpants* ... i mean, how sexy is that??? maybe the board has read your blog and really *knows* the sexuality you can bring to the *merchant's tale* .... well, their loss, for sure ...

Jill said...

Apparently the woman hasn't read Chaucer. But hey, I'd rather teach Chaucer than Twilight drivel.

Sue said...

heehee

Anonymous said...

Just giving a heads-up of a typo/error - it should be "moot point" not "mute point." I'd want someone to let me know if I made the mistake. :)

Candi said...

Maybe you can pass out the Twilight mood rings at Halloween instead of candy!

MamaOtwins+1 said...

who cares about typos.
I'm with the rest of these gal's sorry you aren't teaching Twilight but you got some cool momentos!

Nicole S. said...

Ha! Good ol' Chaucer. After the Merchnt's tale, you can throw in the Wife of Bath - good times!

TheQueen@TerrorsInTiaras said...

Perhaps you could rename May Bella, and Januarie and Damian Jacob and Edward and still use those rings.

The Mother said...

Gods, that's hilarious.

Chaucer is pretty racy, too, for it's age. Are you sure they actually understand what he wrote?

Or are they just assuming that people in the dark ages didn't do sex?

babs said...

PG?? really come on, I thought college meant adults?

In my town this racey class came out and guess what? it filled up 3 times over with mostly 45-60 year olds.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/sep/11/city-tones-down-striptease-class-description/

Ps. I like "mute point" better. I like to imagine clicking the mute button at someone when I dont really like what they have to say.

Maranie said...

My best friend during my teen years went to a public high school that banned the teaching of The Merchants Tale...which was funny, because I was attending a Catholic school just down the road where we read and discussed every single bawdy word of it. Thanks for the shout-out to us literary nerds.

And in the meantime, you can enjoy this (just a funny link, not selling anything!)

http://roflrazzi.com/2009/08/11/celebrity-pictures-william-shakespeare-stephenie-meyer/

Viv said...

"the enrollment issue was a mute point"

You must have really been upset! ;) Just a heads up.

Rose Belle said...

All that hard work for nothing! Dont' you just hate that? I've been in a similar situation, prepping for a training class, creating powerpoint slides, and practicing my speech for a few weeks when my manager said, "we're cancelling on the training class because we can't afford to pull everyone off production for one hour. We will give them the manuals to take home to read". I was so mad...

Karen said...

ohhhhhhh....how sad!

Karen said...

Huh.....How does one even answer such a question with composure? Sorry about the Twilight literature course.

mama rose said...

Been there,done that,it just stinks.Something even better will come up when you least expect it.

Renny said...

Oh Pauline... education is really going down the sink hole isn't it.?

Parenting Network said...

The education is going in the wrong direction. They are not allowing certain books and then taking out programs as well.

http://parenting-happinesstochaos.blogspot.com

Post-it Note said...

This story just gets sadder and sadder. It's like the dangled carrot ended up being ROTTEN!

I'm glad no one enrolled. It's like booyah to the board. Yeah they are not high on my list. Well maybe on my hit list.

-Paige

Krista said...

Peeeeeing my pants over your blog name, to start with. THEN, you go into how Twilight is TOO RACY? It's written my a Mormon girl and there's SO MUCH sexual tension because they are doing NOTHING, that it drives me crazy! Hey, at least you got the mood ring.

Kerry said...

SO totally off of the subject. My kindergartner came home with a peice of scratch paper with a phone number and no name. She wanted to call her friend from school. When I asked her her name she responded. I dont remember, but she sits next to me. I couldnt help but laugh and think of your post a few days ago.

Myself said...

We are all screwed if a college would rather teach a flavor-of-the-moment vampire novel then Chaucer. What's next, Harry Potter instead of Shakespeare?

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Anonymous said...

Bahaha, like THAT would be taken any less offensive! At least she didn't make you read the Miller's Tale to the old folks!