December 14, 2005

All This, and Inflated Grades, Too

Anyone who has ever been in a "gifted and talented" program at school will probably recognize this classic AP scenario: a tea party, where the students dress as literary figures, presided over by a student dressed as Queen Victoria.

All the students helped out in bringing the varied assortment of luncheon food, including traditional English tea, cookies, mini-cupcakes, cream puffs, meats, cheese, bread, tomatoes, sandwiches and jam.
There is even talk of "possibly" reading some of the books, too.

(via Bookslut.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at December 14, 2005 05:10 PM | TrackBack

who's the kid in the t-shirt supposed to be?

Posted by: amber at December 14, 2005 08:26 PM

I'd make my way past Ms. Austen and the Bronte's hoping they wouldn't bore me to death, see if I could get a little pick me up from sir doyle, tell mr wilde to keep his hands to himself, make sure i didn't drink anything that mr carrol gave me and proceed to plot the destruction of the gala affair with mr poe. Not until I met john stuart mill though. Mrs. holland's opus is a wonderful idea.

Posted by: matty at December 15, 2005 12:08 AM

As if AP kids aren't big enough outcasts... Come to think of it, my high school creative writing class "scene" tried to do some kind of "beatnik poetry jam" or whatever one time. It was mostly my fault, since i was the one who was into the whole Kerouac thing and got everyone else into it by refusing to shut up about "On the Road." Then of course i fail to show up at all for the evening's festivities, which included everyone getting it wrong by dressing in hippie garb, as well as several of the local Pothead Jock Heroes (who at least dressed in black, but looked more like burglars) reading "funny" poetry. Not really a poetry jam...more of a Warped Indiana Version of What People Think a Literary Event Looks Like. I guess it was really something.

Posted by: c. at December 15, 2005 05:29 AM

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? Doyle's favorite afternoon "indulgence" was in fact cocaine (as it was the favored substance of his famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, as evidenced in his stories in graphic em some time). But, um, since this is like high school, I dunno if blow was allowed (or maybe it was....that might explain the tired looking guy in the tee)...

Posted by: David Cummings at December 15, 2005 07:55 AM

Um, weary looking guy in the tee....if you are reading this, I was just making a joke. Sorry.

Posted by: David Cummings at December 15, 2005 08:00 AM

Actually, in fact, my girlfriend Eva (English Lit major) has set me straight and so I make this retraction: Doyle never abused cocaine. I had Doyle mixed up with a colleague of his or something.

Posted by: David Cummings at December 15, 2005 08:27 AM

right, we wouldn't want to be spreading internet rumors about doyle hitting the blow on here...

Posted by: amber at December 15, 2005 08:33 AM

He did, however, believe in fairies. Just FYI.

Posted by: josh at December 15, 2005 01:30 PM

As one late Victorian novelist might have said:

"The horror! The horror!"

Posted by: Wesley at December 15, 2005 01:52 PM

Ah, memories: In my English class in Middle School, we had a "Feast of the Gods" when we were studying Greek Mythology. We sat around and ate ambrosia (aka "fruit salad"). I was Hermes.

We were geeks, oh yes indeed.

Posted by: Duncan at December 15, 2005 03:19 PM

I was Red Chief in the 5th grade gifted-class production of O. Henry's "The Ransom of Red Chief".

Posted by: Eric at December 15, 2005 07:26 PM

How does one get into this class? I had to read books in my advance English classes. Damn my school and its attempts to make me learn.

Posted by: Manda Magpie at December 18, 2005 04:50 PM

"There is even talk of 'possibly' reading some of the books, too."

One wouldn't want to confuse their minds with irrelevancies.

AP English and AP History here. I don't remember a damn thing about AP English, but the AP History class is the only actually good high school course, in my view. It was serious college level material, and not at a low grade, either; we read both primary sources and plenty of various historians of various contending schools, on the issues we considered, and had to write essays of significant substance.

Damned if I know now what we did in the English class; talk about books, I guess. Beats me which ones. (It has been thirty-plus years, to be sure.)

In all seriousness, I think you might be misreading the line you presumably base this on: "There is even talk of 'possibly' reading some of the books, too."

The story says "Hollands said the class is currently collaborating with a professor in the NMU English Dept to possibly read the same classics as students in that class, and then have the college students and the high school students discuss the literature together."

That seems to be pretty clear that the AP students "read... the classics." The "possibly" was in regard to the college students reading in tandem with the AP class. That is, there's no indication in the story that the students read all the classics they based their characters upon, but instead that "while studying the Victorian time period, students formed literature circles and read either "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen or "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde as well as studying Victorian art and poetry."

Posted by: Gary Farber at December 19, 2005 12:10 AM

This brings back memories of the "British Lit tea," circa 1983, in Mrs. Lee's class. The culmination of 8 years of Orange County MGM/gifted classes. We made British tea cakes and I stayed up late convincing Kim Senft that my best friend was the right man for her. Ah, the British Lit tea. Thanks for the nerd-encrusted memories.

Posted by: lefty at December 19, 2005 10:31 PM