Top Five Posts of 2017

Has it really been four months since I’ve posted? Surely, the world needs my special brand of whatever the hell it is I do here, now more than ever.

The year got off to a pretty good start, and since I was productive here for at least the first eight months of it, I think it’s time to bring back an old feature: the best posts of the year recap.

I skipped the feature in 2015, since the only really notable post I wrote was a tribute to Grant Wiggins. In 2016, the only posts of any substance were about the cruise. But this year, the year the site reached 200,000 hits, even though my stamina ran out two-thirds of the way through, I did manage to put together a few posts I’d like to remember when looking through this category link in years to come.

So without further ado, I present the top five Shakespeare Teacher posts of the year 2017:

5. Shakespeare Anagram: Twelfth Night (August 25)

Since Donald Trump became president, the Shakespeare Anagram has undergone an evolution of sorts. It’s always been somewhat political (which is often the point), but this year the anagrams have been accompanied by increasingly lengthy essays inspired by the topic of the anagram. This was the last one I did this year. Compare it to the first one I did this year, and you’ll notice the shift.

4. Shakespeare Follow-Up: Lie Detection (June 30)

An off-handed comment by Duncan in Macbeth inspired a deep examination into how lie detection has been viewed and used over the centuries. It also brought back a feature that I enjoy very much, and hope to continue in the future.

3. Making History (March 5)

This is another long one, but I had a lot to get off my chest. An Arkansas Republican tried to have the works of Howard Zinn banned from state-funded schools, and it set me off. When we decide how we are going to teach history, we need to first decide why we teach history, and we may not all agree on the answer.

2. Sean Spicer Does Shakespeare (April 23)

What if Sean Spicer hadn’t worked for Donald Trump, but instead was the spokesman for Shakespeare’s King Richard III? It might look a little something like this. I had thought about following up with Sean Spicer as the front man for Macbeth, insisting that Macbeth never met with the witches before becoming King, and then admitting that he had but there was no collusion. Alas, Sean’s time at the podium came to a sudden end before I could write it.

1. An Open Letter to President Trump (March 12)

This is sort of a comedy piece, but I’m actually serious about the underlying idea. There’s no reason Donald Trump shouldn’t support single payer. And he really is the only one who could make it happen. If he did, he might actually be seen as the great leader he thinks he is now. Believe me.

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