>OK, this is kinda cool. I was talking to my students in class the other day about Beowulf’s fight with Grendel’s Mother and how it was different from the fight with Grendel and whether that difference was either gendered or sexualized…blah, blah, blah. Anyway, I remarked that I was surprised that they were not skeptical when I raised the issue of it being sexualized and one of them said, “Oh, we’ve all taken a class with Dr. Libertine, so we’re used to seeing sexual imagery in literature.” [Note: Libertine is neither his real name nor his personality, but rather, fits his subject matter and period.] I laughed and suggested that maybe it was a lot easier to find sexual imagery in Dr. Libertine’s literary period than in Old English texts (unless, of course, you’re talking about riddles about keys and dough, but we weren’t) and we went on discussing the text.
The reason why I brought this little story up is that later, while doing my evening run, something interesting dawned on me about that conversation. Students don’t generally take both Dr. Libertine’s class and mine, since they are actually only obligated to take one course about literature before 1800, and our students tend to stick to the requirements, especially when it comes to old stuff. Given that this large group of students had already taken Dr. Libertine’s course and were now in mine, could it be actually possible that these students had chosen to take my class voluntarily?!
Wow! Imagine that! 🙂