education. #fail.

Girl 1: “So I was reading this book all during class and my teacher mentioned it. Do you think he reads Oprah’s book club list too??”

Girl 2: “What book is it?”

Girl 1: “It’s called Night, by Elie Wiesel”

I wish I could say this conversation was imagined. I wish that about as much as I wish that the conversation wasn’t between to college students (and not freshman). But more then anything, I wish I could say that Girl 1 had not been in class with me, which she was, because the class we had just left was Introduction to Holocaust & Genocide Studies, with the leading Holocaust scholar and she was talking about  a major piece of Holocaust literature because of…well, Oprah. I was ashamed and as someone pointed out, I was sharing my degree with her.

But every now and then you get those little reminders of how the education system fails, and why I get to gloat about my homeschooler background. I mean we all turn out a little bizarre, but at least we know things like Night, oh and about this one…

I overheard a conversation recently about Shakespeare…favorite plays, plays they wanted to see and the like. So Merchant of Venice came up and then I hear a line that goes something like this: “yeah you know, I never knew that ‘that is gold does not glitter’ line is from Shakespeare until a couple of years ago.” I am going to be honest, I totally, in my eavesdropping, was like oh I love that passage and then as I recited it in my head:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

And then a thought hit and it went something like, ummmm yeah see that isn’t Shakespeare it’s Tolkien (this seriously may just be weird homeschooler knowledge but it’s one of my favorite passages in Lord of the Rings, the other being Tolkien adaptation of the poem The Wanderer). But I did have to chuckle about the surety of the statement, because they were convinced that it was quote was Shakespeare just like the girl in college was convinced that our professor read Night because of Oprah.

Oh yes and the Merchant of Venice line is: “All that glitters is not gold.” Close enough, but about 350 years off.

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