Presentation of the English Major
Wednesday, October 20
Seelye 207 (faculty lounge)
Refreshments will be provided.
One of the pieces of mail awaiting me upon my return to the Boston area this past weekend was a bill from the UMassAmherst Bursar's Office -- a Continuining Education fee from Summer 2003 (when i did the summer program to Oxford through UMass). There's no reason i should be getting billed for this, especially a year after the fact, so i've been calling the Bursar's Office this week and getting a busy signal. This afternoon i finally got a real person, who transfered me to CE itself, where i eventually got a person who said their system is weird and she will fix it. And lo there was much rejoicing.
This marks the 3rd time i’m doing 1 Henry IV in class. Not the most compelling play ever and i like it less than i remember, but having done it so often so many of the passages just feel familiar, which is comforting in a way.
I don’t particularly like Falstaff, but the first time i did 1 Henry IV we followed it with 2 Henry IV and Henry V, and Hal’s rejection of Falstaff when he becomes king was just so painful. And the foreshadowings when i reread 1 Henry IV ... oh, the pain.
1 Henry IV:
FALSTAFF: Do not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief.
HAL: No, thou shalt.
FALSTAFF [playing Hal]: No, my good lord, banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins, but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and there more valiant, being as he is old Jack Falstaff, banish not him thy Harry’s company, banish not him thy Harry’s company—banish plump Jack, and banish all the world.
HAL [playing Hal’s father]: I do, I will.
2 Henry IV:
FALSTAFF: God save they Grace, King Hal! my royal Hal!
PISTOL: The heavens thee guard and keep, most royal imp of fame!
FALSTAFF: God save thee, my sweet boy!
KING (HAL): My Lord Chief Justice, speak to that vain man.
CHIEF JUSTICE: Have you your wits? know you what ‘tis you speak?
FALSTAFF: My king, my Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!
KING (HAL): I know thee not, old man, fall to thy prayers.
How ill white hairs becomes a fool and jester!
I have long dreamt of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swelled, so old, and so profane;
But being awak’d, I do despise my dream.
Make less thy body hence and more thy grace,
For thee thrice wider than for other men.
Reply not to me with a fool-born jest,
Presume not that I am the thing I was,
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turn’d way my former self;
So will I those that kept me company.
So, Family Weekend begins, which means lots of parents descending upon their children's space, and many of said children thus revamping their space to hide elements of which their parents will disapprove. I forget sometimes that not everyone is as open with their parents as i am, that not everyone can be. Not that everyone necessarily should share everything with their parents, but i am so glad that i don't feel i need to hide anything from my parents.
They know that i'm queer, that i slash anything that moves, that i read&write often kinky fanfic pr0n, and none of this bothers them. They tell me about gay stuff. (I know this bothers some people, because they don't like the idea that their lives revolve around Teh Gay, but i really like Teh Gay, so it makes me happy.) They encourage me to do what makes me happy and to form my own decisions and opinions about things even when i disagree with them. They think i should be free to do as i please so long as i'm not hurting anyone, and their prime concern in terms of my life is that i'm happy. They know that i love them even though i don't miss them when i'm at school and i can't wait to move out of their house permanently.
So yeah, a big thank you to the parental units.