The Canterbury Wails

| USA | Learning | October 31, 2014

(I am a junior in high school taking a course on early British literature. At the moment, we are reading The Canterbury Tales. My teacher breaks us into groups and assigns us each a tale to act out. One group is assigned The Miller’s Tale, a sexually explicit story about a cheating wife. Their turn:)

Girl: *in character* “No, we mustn’t. We can’t!”

Boy: *in character* “Of course we can! Nobody will know!”

(He then proceeds to lift the girl onto a table at the front of the room and physically simulate intercourse, complete with moans and banging on the table. My best friend, in the group, holds out a yard stick with the word ‘censored’ taped to it. The class is dying of laughter at this point. Our teacher has buried her head in her arms at her desk and refuses to look up.)

Group: *when finished* “The end!”

Teacher: *after several moments* “I am so glad an administrator was not walking by.”

(The door to our classroom was wide open. Years later when I visited her classroom, she introduced me as “[My Name]. Her class is the reason we don’t act anything out anymore.”)

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