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It's the last period on a Friday afternoon. The air is thick and your twenty-six Year 11 students sigh heavily as you explain, yet again, that Lady Macbeth cannot be said to be entirely responsible for the downfall of her husband.
MOST will blame Lady Macbeth anyway, so the kerfuffle of Year 8 P.E. on the oval some metres away inevitably grabs their already short attention spans on this hour before the weekend. Giving away nothing in your trained expressions, you look around as you realize, probably not for the first time, that you are fighting a losing battle. You stare at the pretty Oxford edition of Macbeth and you love and hate the hero-villain in a paragon of contradiction. Instinctively, you pout. But I love Shakespeare, you think to yourself, as the snarl of Jane's lips in the middle row tells you that she, and probably many others, beg to differ.
You spring into action and reach into your bag. The unusual movement grabs the attention of some wary and suspicious students, who are thrilled but curious as to your change of rhythm. Are you letting them out early? Have they cleverly conned you into giving in? No. As you reach in, you feel the DVD case and wrap it around the sweaty palm of your hand. Yes, she who will save you is here. Ladies and gentlemen, Buffy has come to the rescue.
As expected, reactions are mixed. Matthew raises an eyebrow and, in the space of three seconds has already considered all the implications of the DVD you hold eagerly in your hand, as well as predicted the ramifications, both social and political, that this strange turn of events will bring to his English education. Sarah is laughing hysterically and Jake expresses that he is clearly far too manly to watch Buffy under any circumstances. However, they are all strangely intrigued at what this means. How could one possibly study a vampire slayer, of all things under the sun, at school? Aren't we meant to be completely wrapped in the world of Mr Darcy, Juliet and young Master Copperfield? We study films as text, such as Lantana and Gattaca, but a television show? Huh?!
Of course, the study of canon and classical texts is one reason amongst many that an English teacher loves what he or she does, and of course, the pleasure gained at witnessing the …