What Makes a Villain?

A few years ago, something brought Dante’s Inferno into my mind while I was working on lessons for Julius Caesar. What I had never fully realized before was that while Brutus is arguably the protagonist of Shakespeare’s play (despite the fact that he’s not the title character), up until that point he was primarily seen as a villain. In fact, Dante places him and co-conspirator Cassius in the very deepest pit of Hell along with Judas Iscariot!

Much of Shakespeare’s audience would have been familiar with that perspective on Brutus and Cassius, and titling the play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar plays up those expectations. Then Shakespeare takes that perspective and stands it on its head, making Brutus the tragic hero and showing the story from his point of view.

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Community Blogging – Day 16

I had a post topic in mind today, but I spent several hours grading and then dragged myself through a five-mile run.

Then, when I got home, I found out that school is closed for the rest of the year. We don’t yet know what’s going to happen with remote learning.

I am stressed. I am anxious. I am exhausted. My brain is done for the day.

Community Blogging – Day 15

So it rained pretty much all day today. Most of the time it was just drizzle, not pouring, but I didn’t do any work in the garden. I managed to walk over to the park and back, but that was it for my outside time.

I feel like I should have more to say, but I did laundry. I did dishes. That’s really about it. I’ve felt kind of bleh all day.

Community Blogging – Day 13


Today was absolutely gorgeous. I love our backyard. It’s peaceful and woodsy. The garden is going to go along the porch, just past the stairs.

I actually started digging today! I still haven’t planted anything. It’s going to take a little bit to get the plot all dug up. There’s about two to three inches of topsoil, and below that it’s got a high clay content. So it’s really dense, which makes it difficult to get through. Additionally, there’s all kinds of roots growing through it. The grass is patchy, but there are these ropy strands that are as thick as my thumb! I don’t even know what they go to.

Pictures and more behind the cut!

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Community Blogging – Day 11

Taking inspiration from a student, I am going to put my two favorite Disney Princess movies head-to-head, exploring what I love about them, and seeing which one comes out on top.

There are some definite similarities between Cinderella and The Princess and the Frog, despite the fact that they were produced more than half a century apart. Both feature lush animation, memorable characters, and compelling music.

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Community Blogging – Day 10

Today my husband and I helped deliver packed meals along one of the bus routes. He got to wave to some of his students – I didn’t see any of mine. It was a beautiful outside, and we put the windows down and had a lovely breeze going while we organized and filled the bag for each person.

I also want to call some of the students who started out posting on their blogs but haven’t posted anything in awhile. I hope everyone is okay. I’m exhausted, though, so I may wait until tomorrow to call. I didn’t get much sleep last night, and what sleep I did get had all kinds of bad dreams. Lots of fighting.

I do have something cool planned for later, though. At least, I think it’s cool. And students who choose to do it can get bonus points, so hopefully they’ll think that’s cool even if they think the assignment itself is stupid!