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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

J.R.R. Tolkien in the Classroom

Tuesday Tolkien

Despite earning high scores in English throughout grade school, and receiving an A and an A- for the first two halves of my thoroughly unnecessary High School English summer school class, my teacher gave me a B for a final grade.  As a result, the administration placed me in a lower track of English for my Freshman year.  This perplexed me, and angered my mother, who had been forced to rearrange her schedule to drive me to and from school during the summer.  Yet, we were assured that, while I was in a lower class, it would count the same academically as the higher track, and prepare me for the regular track of English in my Sophmore year.

Any unhappiness over the administration’s decision melted away as I got to know my new English teacher.  I evidently responded to her, as she gave me an A each semester, and Excellent for citizenship.  In my Freshman yearbook, she thanked me for my hard work, and encouraged me to keep doing my best.   And, just as the administration promised, I graduated to the normal English class for my Sophmore year.

In the same year I was enjoying my lower track English class, most of my other friends had the same instructor who had taught my summer school class.  The assignments he handed out looked harder than those I received, and for the literature portion of the class, he selected Animal Farm by George Orwell.  My English teacher chose a different novel: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  So I got to read a book I was not only familiar with, but thoroughly loved.  When we got to the section where Bilbo talks with Smaug, she even brought in a big cake with a dragon on it to celebrate!  (Yes, knowing me, I probably had seconds.) What can I say?  Truly, all things work out for our ultimate good, right? 

Or at least, all things involving J.R.R. Tolkien, his novel The Hobbit, and those most fearsome, knowledgeable, and yet beloved creatures known as dragons.

Dragon Dave

Rusty: Daleks are more fearsome than dragons, right?
Pocket: Let's discuss this elsewhere, recruit.

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