There’s no doubt that a single inspiring teacher can have a profound impact on a student’s life, but what about the duds? The apoplectic nun, the tapped out fossil, the bitter young man? If there’s deadwood in your educational history, you owe it to yourself to spend some time with John Green. The charismatic author and nerdfighter is following up his online video series Crash Course World History, with the new mini series, Crash Course English Literature.
Think Shakespeare is boring? It’s a position you’ll be hard pressed to maintain after hearing Green’s take on Romeo and Juliet, a veritable luge of facts, trivia, cute graphics, frank-ish sex talk, corny jokes and iambic lowdown. Extra credit for referencing Harley Granville-Barker, the turn of the century quintuple-threat who summarized the play as “a tragedy of youth as youth sees it”.
Having laid down a few ground rules in episode one, Green is preparing to take on Fitzgerald, Salinger, and Emily Dickinson. If any of these names dredge up unpleasant memories, relax. Green is not going to make you parse symbols and authorial intent. His schtick is proudly populist, a PeeWee’s Playhouse open to those who seek knowledge, as well as those whom experience has taught to resist.
Crash Course English Literature will be added to our new collection, 200 Free Kids Educational Resources: Video Lessons, Apps, Books, Websites & More.
– Ayun Halliday is an author whose latest contribution to the canon of English Literature is spectacularly scheduled for a day after Christmas release.