Recently, I happily discovered that a picture of me wearing a fur coat and brown tights was finally off the internet.
The picture was from 1998 and for over 15 years it has dogged me on the worldwide web. With a few scrolls down through my name on any search engine (pass the covers of my books and headshots; you know, the important stuff an author cares about), there it was, always waiting for me.
Me in tights.
“Hello Scott, want to see your legs?”
When I signed up for the graduate-level course in Medieval Literature (at Michigan State University), I was expecting a challenge.
Actually, I was expecting a massive challenge!
I heard rumblings from past students of the class, everything from translating to long writing assignments. While I love diving into classic literature, I have to be in the right mood for the older, more historical entries. I’m not the kind of person to relax with Chaucer on a Sunday morning (even though I do have a pic of him on my wall and I did once mimic his style in a very long short story). At least Chaucer can be a little bawdy and playful, but you have to earn the Chaucer in such classes. And usually that due is paid by Caedom and Margery Kempe.
Medieval literature, the literary equivalent of a hairshirt.
But it was required for my MA, so what could I do? I decided to put my own writing aside for a semester and accept my fate.
However, as we got closer to the start of the semester, my fellow students and I started hearing from the professor. This year we were to do something different, something special. It was obvious the professor was thrilled and he wanted us to feel that way as well. Maybe with another group of students he would have gotten a bigger reaction, but typically bookworms (i.e., graduate students in English Literature) don’t usually like to be thrown on a stage.
Yes, I said “stage.” See, we were not going to be studying Medieval Literature, we were going to be performing it! Watch out Broadway! Continue reading →