Monday, January 28, 2013

Quotation of the Week

Today I'm starting the fourth and final week of teaching The Importance of Being Earnest at Brave Writer.  It's been such a blast to teach my favorite play of all time, and my students are eager to learn and quite prolific in their discussions both with me and with each other.

But I have learned a very important lesson this month: Do not teach two online classes concurrently while still homeschooling three boys and teaching a co-op class that requires a lot of grading. 

I can't tell you how many nights I've been up working until 3:00-4:00 in the morning since starting these classes on January 7. As much as I adore teaching, especially these two topics of Literary Analysis of my favorite play and a Family Grammar Workshop, it requires at least thirty hours in a day to do all of my jobs justice. As it is, I need to grade 20-some essays today for my co-op class, besides keeping up with all of Monday's posts for both Brave Writer courses.

At least I'm only teaching one online class in February: The Playing with Poetry Family Workshop. (It's nearly full, so if you and your kids would like to learn to write poems in several formats, now's the time to sign up; class begins a week from today, February 4.) So life should be a bit easier next month.

Anyway, back to The Importance of Being Earnest. One of our assignments is to chose Golden Lines, basically our favorite quotation from the play. Golden Lines assignments are included in several Brave Writer subscriptions, and it's always fun to see who chooses which lines as our class draws to a close.

I also made my choice of Golden Lines. Because this play is soooooo eminently quotable, it is extremely difficult to select only one line as a favorite. Yet my choice was quite simple after all since it's a quotation I find myself laughing over almost every time I hear the word "fiction."

As Cecily and Miss Prism discuss the merits of the ubiquitous three-volume novel near the beginning of Act II, Cecily asks about the ending of Miss Prism's novel, bewailing the fact that so many of these novels end happily as it "depresses [her] so much." And Miss Prism replies:
"The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means." 
~Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, Act II

This line makes me shake my head in bemusement while laughing at the same time. I just love this misunderstanding of fiction; it amuses me to no end.

So it may be an off quotation to select for my Quotation of the Week, but I know that every time I peek at my blog and see this quotation in the sidebar as well as in this post, I'll be stifling a giggle.And when one is so very busy grading essays and teaching classes online, a witty line is a precious gift indeed.

Have a blessed week, everyone!

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