Keepin' It Real, Ya Feel Me?

Sometimes my mouth is up and running before my brain even gets its tennis shoes on.

Usually, it's not that big a deal, but there are times when I just don't know if the results are positive or negative.

My theater class is reading Oedipus. We have a translation, but it's still hard for them to understand. So I have them read aloud, and I stop them every once in a while to explain things. It's a method that works pretty well, and it's also very affirming for me, because I can practically SEE a lightbulb click on over their heads sometimes after an explanation.

Here's an example of how it goes.


Is it so? Then I charge thee to abide
By thine own proclamation; from this day
Speak not to these or me. Thou art the man,
Thou the accursed polluter of this land.

Vile slanderer, thou blurtest forth these taunts,
And think'st forsooth as seer to go scot free.

Yea, I am free, strong in the strength of truth.

Who was thy teacher? not methinks thy art.

Thou, goading me against my will to speak.

What speech? repeat it and resolve my doubt.

Didst miss my sense wouldst thou goad me on?

I but half caught thy meaning; say it again.

I say thou art the murderer of the man
Whose murderer thou pursuest.

Thou shalt rue it
Twice to repeat so gross a calumny.

Must I say more to aggravate thy rage?


MS. FLOWER: [with appropriate head jiggles and waving fingers]

Tiresias says, "YOU'RE the problem, Oedipus." And Oedipus goes, "You can't talk to me like that!" And Tiresias is all, "Well, it's the truth, what are you gonna do about it?" And Oedipus is like, "Who told you to say that?" And Tiresias goes, "YOU did, dummy," and Oedipus says, "Say it again then." So Tiresias says, "You killed the king, Oedipus," and Oedipus is like, "You'll be sorry for saying it twice," and Tiresias goes, "Well, do ya wanna hear it again? Huh? Murderer?"

It's a very loose translation.

Later on, Creon and Oedipus get into this HUGE fight in front of the palace, and then the Chorus says:

Cease, princes; lo there comes, and none too soon,
Jocasta from the palace.

I explained, "The Chorus looks up and Jocasta is coming. So they're all, 'Cheese it, fellas; here comes the Queen!'"

There was a very loud silence in my room.

And you have to understand, I have NO IDEA where that came from. It's not like I'm watching the Keystone Kops or anything. My best guess is it may have been on an episode of Leave It to Beaver, or possibly a Shirley Temple movie.

"Um ... 'cheese it,' Ms. Flower?" asked one of my students.

Well, now I had to dig myself out.

"Yeah, you know. It's gangster talk." The silence got even louder, until I realized ... "No, gangster with an R," I said. "Like in the 30s?"

"Aw, 'at's tight, Ms. F," one girl said. "I'ma jack that."

"... okay ..." I don't know what that means.

1 comment:

Dreamy said...

Jack-steal. I think she means that she is going to start using "cheese it" herself. *blush* I say I'm gonna 'jack' stuff all the time, but usually with more colorful adjectives. I got it from my sister who got it from her husband who lived in Compton. Mwahahaha. Last Christmas we were checking out light displays and came across a blow-up Snoopy on his doghouse in his aviator outfit, and before she thought of it she said, "oooh, I am so going to come back and jack their ---- tonight! That is so cool!" No. We didn't. I call her 'Ghetto Talking Brigitte' LMAO.


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