It’s the first day of school for New York City public school students, which got me thinking about one of the oddest English class semesters I ever had.
I think it was English 6, the second semester of 11th grade, and we were finished with our English Regents. But we still had to take English class.
That semester was…different than the others. I haven’t thought about it in years, but if there was a theme to that semester, it was infidelity.
Here’s what we read:
The Great Gatsby
“The Storm” by Kate Chopin
Have you guys read these? Did you read them in school?
My favorite read of the semester is a toss-up between Gatsby, which sent me on a Fitzgerald binge not long after, and The Crucible, which I used to read aloud to myself (I performed that seeing spirits in the courtroom scene in my dining room.)
But, my God, Ethan Frome. I don’t remember the book too well, but it definitely wins the Most Depressing Novel I’ve Ever Read Award.
I remember: snow. A sled. Somebody running the sled into a tree. Just grimness all around.
And “The Storm.” As one friend put it during a class discussion: “This is like softcore porn!”
What kind of semester themes did you have in high school?