After the somewhat dismal topic of my last couple of teaching posts, I feel something sillier is in order. When I gave the Roland lecture the other week, I didn’t end up doing a spiel about presentation methodology at the beginning, because I was sure I was going to go overtime. Instead, I ran undertime!
And then I decided that a good thing to do would be to educate the students, firstly, about the oft-discussed differences between epic and romance; and secondly, about how these differences are often overstated, esp. as pertains to their chronological relationship (ie, they were actually synchronous genres, not consecutive).
I may have improvised the Epic Versus Romance Interpretive Dance. It goes something like this: “Over here we have EPICs! They are all about MANLY THINGS! And over here – *Jump, flourish* we have romance! They’re all about LADIES! *jump, flourish* KILL MEN! *jump, flourish* FUCK LADIES!” And so on, for a while.
It worked, for a given value of work – two weeks later they remembered the epic/romance binary when I asked them. Apparently one of my colleagues was told by a student that student liked my lecturing because I say “fuck”.
Really, I think all this needed to be a really excellent educational experience would be a set of elastics.* ‘Epic’ and ‘Romance’ are both nice trochaic words which would go well in a skipping chant…