Tag Archives: Romeo Juliet

What’s in a Name?


Juliet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What’s in a name?   Shakespeare explored this question in the famous balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet.  His answer, “that which we call a rose / by any other word would still smell as sweet”  (2.2.43-44).

Apparently, Shakespeare, or Juliet in this case, got it wrong.  The majority of my seventh period class, the ones who use their given names, had trouble with the idea that people could be called by a nickname, variation of their name, or even their middle name.  Yet, during the reading of To Kill A Mockingbird no one questioned Jean Louise Finch’s nickname “Scout” or Jeremy Finch being called “Jem.”

I guess Chris’ middle name may be Topher; Pat’s middle name may be Rick; and Rob’s middle name may be Bert.

My freshman experience today was realizing not all students finish their thought process before speaking up.  Of course, I am guilty of this, too … especially at home.


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Filed under Education, Humor, Lessons from students

Romeo and Juliet and Rebels in the Classroom

I taught Romeo and Juliet while student teaching, about a decade or two after Shakespeare produced the play at The Globe Theatre.  I still remember the reviews: “Thy best performance ever!”  – The London Times; “Thine drama shall have freshmen enduring it for centuries!” – The Evening Bard.

Needless to say, I kind of know the story and sometimes forget that some of the students do not know any of it.  However, today, one young lady befuddled me.   She has been physically present everyday we were reading and listening to a production of the play.  She was writing down notes and answers to guided reading questions as we discussed what was going on.  However, she proved the point that sometimes people just write without thinking.  They listen without being an active part of the conversation.  They forget that they have two ears and only one mouth, and they should place the importance on the listening.  I did not need the educational buzz tool of the year – The Exit Ticket – to tell me there was a problem.  If you have a basic remembrance of the story, you can see for yourself:

Dana: Why is Juliet in the Capulet tomb?  How did she get there?

Me: In Act 4 she took a magic potion to pretend to be dead.

Dana:  Why?

Me: To avoid marrying Paris.

Dana: I thought she wanted to marry Romeo.

Me: She did marry Romeo.

Dana:  She did!?  When?  Nobody told me!  I hate listening to things being read to me, like we did yesterday.

Me: Me, too.  I would have reread the material last night and answered the guided reading questions then.

Dana: Why would you do that?

Me: Because the questions were due today.

Dana: They were? Well, nobody told me.

The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capule...

The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets Watercolor, approximately 15.5 x 20 inches. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thus, the blame game begins.  I want to scream.  Instead, I laugh inside my head and calmly ask, “When is your study hall?  Come in on Friday, and I can help you.”

She is one of my rebels I wrote about yesterday.  She does try to do her work, but at the first problem she blames something or someone else.  Tomorrow, I will show her some websites that offer summaries and give her an old study guide that offers additional information.  I am not sure she will take it upon herself to do the work this second time around.

Perhaps she can watch this attached related article:


Filed under Education, Goals, Humor, Measuring Student Success