Friday, April 04, 2008

three questions

Sister Mary Clarence asked if I would teach today, as she had a friend in town from England and wanted take the day off to be with her friend. I had about two days' notice, which seemed like enough time to prepare. Ha. The students had some really, uh, "fun" questions today. For the record, our topics today were eighteenth-century British monarchs, the Enlightenment, and Hogarth's "A Rake's Progress."

One student wanted to know whether Church of England doctrine taught that the monarchs of Britain were descended from King Arthur. Um ... I don't really know for sure one way or the other, but I'd say probably not. This isn't as wacky as it sounds; we've previously discussed the ways that various monarchs and other figures used the Arthur myth to their political advantage, including Henry VIII.

Another student wanted to know if Charles II and James II were Catholic (or, in Charles' case, Catholic-ish around the edges) because of the time they spent in France. Well. That sounds reasonable, but I don't really know. I had focused more on the political ramifications of the Stuart boys' religion, rather than the origins of their religious leanings. I looked it up when I got home; it turns out their Mum was Catholic. Should I have known that off the top of my head? Maybe. Why couldn't they have asked about the Hanovers? I could go on about George IV all day.

When we got around to looking at Hogarth's engravings, a student wanted to know how big the originals were. I was at a complete loss. Honestly, I don't think that's something that I could have been expected to know. Anyway, I looked that up when I got home as well. (Answer: about 12.5 X 15 inches.)

I have no respect for a teacher who can't admit that she doesn't know the answer to a student's question, and I'm obviously not going to make stuff up, but it's still embarrassing to have to say "I just don't know."

4 comments:

prism said...

I don't like it when people can't admit they don't know either.

But, it's ok. You are not a walking encyclopedia. If they really, really want to know, they can look it up too.

However, I can understand being a little embarrassed when you're the teacher and you're "supposed" to know - hahah.

Octavia said...

Maybe I should be flattered that they thought I would know. :)

Heidi said...

Maybe it should be a clue into the fact that they didn't actually do their reading... :-D I suspect if I didn't know something like that, I'd admit it and then tell the student to go research it him/herself. I haven't got time for it! lol.

Octavia said...

In this case, the questions were coming from students who almost certainly did do the reading. And having done that same reading myself, I can say authoritatively that the answers to those particular questions were not in there.