Thursday, April 26, 2012

Othello, the Mohawk General of Venus

The scene: Miss Eyre's students are writing essays on Othello.  Miss Eyre is helping a student we'll call Brandy revise her essay.

BRANDY [in essay]: Othello, a Native American, was a great Venusian general.

MISS EYRE [to Brandy]: So, Brandy, I didn't know Othello was Native American.

BRANDY: Wasn't he?

MISS EYRE: Um, no.  He was a Moor.

BRANDY: Oh.  So he was African-American.  'Cause Moor is black, right?

MISS EYRE: Well, kind of.  But this play dates from the seventeenth century.  So there was no America.

BRANDY: Oh!  So I should just put that he was a Moor?

MISS EYRE: Yes.  That will work.  Also, you might want to rethink your spelling of "Venetian."  That's the term you mean for someone from Venice.


MISS EYRE: Well, you spelled it "Venusian."  That means he's from Venus.  Like the planet.

BRANDY: Oh!  Right.  [giggles] Oh, miss, you know I didn't mean that.

MISS EYRE [to herself]: I sure hope not, or my teaching of Othello was more confusing than I thought.
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