All posts by Bill Walthall

After graduating from UCLA with a degree in English and a teaching credential, Bill Walthall returned to his hometown in Ventura County, California, to teach English and drama at Oxnard and Hueneme High Schools. Having spent a decade in the classroom, he took a year off to recharge his batteries, but was pulled into the private-sector rat race as a technology consultant. In the last handful of years, however, he has rekindled his passion for literature and education. He launched his blog, The Bill / Shakespeare Project, where he brings not only a fun, accessible yet still scholarly approach to a play-by-play analysis of Shakespeare’s works, but also the latest and greatest in Willy Shakespeare headlines every week in his “This Week in Shakespeare” podcast.

Tomrrow


... and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time...

Macbeth V.v.19-21

Or at least:
The clock is slow... I don't feel tardy

–Van Halen, “Hot for Teacher”

Either way, I can’t wait for tomorrow.  The Comedy of Errors text sits on my desk, almost mocking me… I’m waiting for tomorrow even to open it up… haven’t even cracked it open to read the intro… haven’t even read the section on it in Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare… don’t want to cheat and start early… but I’m giddy, like tomorrow is Christmas… there are times I actually rub my hands together in giddy anticipation!

See you all tomorrow, and we’ll begin to read and start this experiment!

Podcast the First: Introduction

Welcome to our first podcast.  It’s a little re-purposed from some of our first week’s entries, but it gives a pretty solid overview of what we’re doing and why… and a hint of where we’re going with all this.
Continue reading Podcast the First: Introduction

A Little Different Background: OK, So Not Everyone’s a Fan…

Ran into a former student from OHS last night in Aaron Bros… didn’t know her at first, but she recognized me (part of that whole ce-leper-ty status Lisa says all teachers have: part celebrity, part leper).  When I introduced Lisa to her, she told my wife (unprompted) that she had taken an English class from me, but she lost interest when we hit Shakespeare… “It was too complicated,” she said. “Still is.”

Kinda ironic given the launch of this venture.

So all that stuff I wrote earlier in the week? Guess that was shot through the prism of golden idealized nostalgia…

Just a guess, but I don’t think she’ll be joining us for this endeavor.

A Little Background: Lucky Boy

I’m a blessed guy, Shakespearean-ly speaking. I had a great introduction to the Bard by my high school freshman teacher, Bill Lindquist at Hueneme High School.

He made Shakespeare seem positively ILLICIT.  On the day we started Romeo and Juliet, he had us open our literature texts to the start of the play.  We read the first half of the first scene, then he brought us to an abrupt, almost angry stop.  He passed out Romeo and Juliet books, paperbacks, and had us look at the same scene.

“What do you notice?”

Hands shot up… “stuff” was missing.

Lindquist wrote the word “unexpurgated” on the board then explained to us that the anthology had been expurgated, had been cleaned up for our young eyes and minds.
Continue reading A Little Background: Lucky Boy

And So We Begin…

OK, so I saw the Julie &Julia trailer a couple of weeks back.

And I put together a presentation on Romeo and Juliet for Kyle’s class around the same time.

Never presented, but have some stuff to share.

What if I tackled every play in the canon? I’ve read quite a few, but not all… it might give me an intellectual (as well as compositional) workout.

Let’s see where this takes us…