do i dare to eat a peach
August 13, 1992 03:33 PM

I fell in love with T.S. Eliot in high school. My english teacher guilted me into doing debate and "Forensics", the latter of which consisted of a number of activities quite contrary to the definition of the word "forensic" as:

Function: noun
Date: 1814
1 : an argumentative exercise
2 plural but singular or plural in construction : the art or study of argumentative discourse

I read scenes from stupid plays. Really. I did. I was Lucy from "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown", one half of Emily Dickinson in that play about her. I usually read with a partner. And. While the things I read were, as stated, invariably stupid, at least I didn't read from "Fried Green Fucking Tomatoes Attempt to Suck Out Your Heart and Eat Your Eyes." Or any of the other, equally melodramatic, favorites of the high school drama set. I was above that.

My english teacher may have been able to coerce me into abandoning all dignity, but I did still go to an arts school, half-day.

Point being. I totally fell for Eliot, and particularly for "Prufrock", during my hellacious stint as a forensics participant. I went so far as to read Prufrock in its entirety when I finally convinced the aforementioned teacher to let me read poetry instead of bad theatre.

I loved that poem. I loved it so much I did the entire reading without more than a glance at the text. I just knew it that well.

And afterwards. A little toad of an old white teacherman came up to me and said. "You ruined that poem for me!" And I said. Thanks. And then he said. "Such a young stupid girl shouldn't be allowed to read great literature." And I didn't say anything. Because I was still young and not sure what to do in the face of such completely daft sexism.

Ironic that this old pervert felt that literature, which he taught to young people, was really only the property of the old. And yes, he was a pervert. He was fired from his job shortly thereafter for some "situation" involving a chick student. Sometimes, only sometimes, people who choose to teach do it for all the wrong reasons.

But I have been guilty of similar sins. Not the perversions. The pretentions. I have read people's words and thought. You are young and stupid. How can you pretend to be a ____________? (fill in with the word of your choice - writer, artist, intellectual, etc.) I have. And I'm a little sorry for doing it.

After all, that kid may be as much my superior in thought and feeling as I was that teacherman's. And maybe I just don't see it. It could happen.

« my girls | Main | going up and down »
in this section
back to archives
October 2004
August 2004
June 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
June 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
August 1996
August 1995
July 1993
April 1993
August 1992
May 1992
October 1989
July 1987
January 1987
September 1984
July 1982
more info
email me
design by seven ten
about the site wicked thoughts edge of the season arts links we have brains