lit lover book

reflections of an ever-evolving educator

Sunday, September 26, 2004

a little swordplay

The assembly Friday was, surprisingly, really interesting. The presenter was a self-taught, self-proclaimed expert on medieval history, literature and swordplay. Of course, the part the kids were the most interested in was the swordplay, and, I have to admit, I found it pretty fascinating myself (which was a bit disconcerting). He began by detailing the similarities between Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and ancient Anglo-Saxon epics (like Beowulf), insisting that the similarities weren't accidental but intended to mimic and draw attention to the ancient texts. Pretty cool on my end, but not too impressive to the kiddies. (They're thinking, yeah, yeah, who really cares?) But then he got into explaining the weaponry and other implements used in Anglo Saxon warfare, and he had them completely. He demonstrated various strategies and techniques, and had student volunteers come up for quick lessons and sparring with both him and other students. Overall, a fun day for the kids and for me (and I even managed to grade a few papers along the way).


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