My new book, “Teacher Tattletales and Other Southern Shenanigans,” is divided into two parts. Tattletales are the true stories from education and Shenanigans, parody real classroom events. Take your pick of which fun to read first. Here is a sample parody:
Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” Timed Essay
The main theme of the poem written on our classroom board by Robert Frost is that human beings are confronted with and ultimately defined by the choices they make. This main idea in the poem is universal, so for the next 70 minutes, describe one of your own personal crossroads in the essay and the choice you made after confronting your own fork in the road. Incorporate lines or ideas from the poem.
My Road Not Taken – by Y. Bother
The poem, “The Road Not Taken” is supposed to be a telling tale, and yet Robert Frost does not tell us anything about his journey. He just tells us about his two choices staring him right in the face and how he stood for a long time looking at the paths. He followed as far as his eyes could see both paths to help him with his decision. He finally chose one.
So, why did he call them roads? Or a path? Neither was a path or road after all because there was still grass on both – just higher on one than the other. If the grass wasn’t worn down to the dirt from previous hikers, how could he tell it was even a way to walk on at all? How did he know the grass wanted to be walked on? The poem said, “Because it was grassy and wanted wear”? What was that all about it? And Frost mentioned that he took the unused path because it was “just as fair”. How did he know that? He hadn’t walked that walk. There might be bears and snakes hanging from the trees to frighten him. Bears and hanging snakes would have frightened me.
The clock in my room tells me another 20 minutes.
Well, it doesn’t actually tell me. You know what I mean. When an inanimate object takes on personal qualities that is called some literary term I am supposed to know. So, even though I don’t know the name, I thought I would throw that in here to let you know I was listening to part of what you were saying and hope that I get some extra points for bringing it up.
The third stanza said he didn’t turn back to return to the fork in the road. Why would he? There is another poem that we read that mentioned one can never go home again. Maybe Frost read that poem, too. I guess that’s why we study literature – so we can learn something from it. But sometimes the words are so old like that I don’t know what they ‘sayeth’.
A girl in the hall from our teacher’s last class said that we would be writing about this poem. She said she read that Frost once said he didn’t mean anything by writing this poem: he just wrote a poem. And a friend of mine, a big Jerry Seinfeld fan, said he heard Seinfeld say, “Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.” I wonder if Frost felt this way.
I am also supposed to tell about some crossroad I came upon.
Since I am supposed to reference a crossroads of my own, I’ll mention I was thinking about asking Anetta Fish, to the Junior-Senior last year. I couldn’t make up my mind, so I waited and waited and then didn’t ask her after all. On the way back from the dance, I heard that she went with another guy to the prom and threw up in the limousine on his tux, so I was glad that I didn’t take that road!