Lend me your ears: support Drew Dzwonkowski’s ‘foolish’ side project …

BH caesarweb
(C) Drew Dzwonkowski

A running theme in the play is how Caesar’s assassination is going to be remembered and reenacted for centuries to come, so I drew the swimmers in modern clothes.

I had a ‘tense’ conversation with a Y10 lad today.  He has about a week to work on a 5-minute or so presentation.  The subject is entirely open to him, but it ought to be something he has sufficient interest in that he can produce a structured, coherent talk, with the ability to think on his feet and answer potentially tricky questions on it afterwards (if he wants to get a decent mark).  It contributes towards his GCSE qualification under the new specification, and he could be asked to reprise the performance at our school’s ‘Work-Ready Day‘ in two weeks’ time: an important shop window for pupils to get noticed by major local employers, where talent HAS been ‘spotted’ in the past.  And ‘scouted’.  Despite the fact that the students would rather eat their own tongues than do the presentation once, let alone twice …

Why am I telling you this?

Because the lad – who is a smashing, engaging character – if a bit sweary at times, but we have dealt with that – told me he had absolutely no idea what to talk about.  I’ll paraphrase our subsequent conversation:

Me:  what are you interested in?

Him:  dunno.

Me: OK, well, what do you do after school?

Him:  not much.

Me:  no, really – what is it you do with your time between 3:30 and bedtime?

Him:  I don’t really know.

Me:  So, let me get this straight – you can’t really account for your movements or actions for about a quarter of the day?  For not much less than half the time you’re awake?  What do you do to relax?  To get over school, and forget about me?  To enjoy yourself?

Him:  No.  I just don’t know what I do.

Me:  (getting a little tetchy now)  Do you go into suspended animation, lad?

Him:  (responding in kind) Shrug.

I had to leave it there.  This IS a lad I get on with.  The kind that you can give a detention to, and he will will still acknowledge you and stop to chat if he passes you in the street the same evening.   This HAS happened.

And, actually, I know what he does after school, partly because he HAS stopped to chat.  I see him, probably once a week, roaming town on his bicycle with his mates.  He’s persuaded me, more than once, to watch videos – on his phone, which is not allowed – of him crashing and hurting himself on various occasions.  Biking is a no-brainer, which I will only suggest in extremis.  He has to take ownership of the subject matter, otherwise he doesn’t own the content or indeed the delivery.  Result:  a grade lower than he might otherwise have got.

I know.  I know.  I KNOW.  This is a by-now-almost-legendary diversion from the main point of my post.  “Who is Drew?  What does he do?  Why is this anything to do with your Y10 student?”  Bear with me.  After all, this is The Boar’s Head, and you shouldn’t expect anything different by now, nearly 90 posts in …

Drew Dzwonkowski – someone I’ve never met and have no connection to – describes his mission to create artwork on each Shakespeare play as a ‘foolish side project’.  He’s a talented guy – I like his overall style, and appreciate the HP Lovecraft-inspired stuff too.

But if this is a ‘side project’, he’ll need some persuading to carry on with it.  And I want him to.  I want to see what he does with Richard II.  And Richard III.  And Henry IV part I, Hamlet, Othello, Titus Andronicus, Macbeth … you get the picture.  If you pardon the pun.

Unlike my Y10 lad (remember him?), Drew has found ‘something to do in the evenings after school’.  If it’s a side project, I think he needs encouragement to continue.

Please visit Drew’s site.  Enjoy all the work, but visit the Shakespeare ones, and get the hits up on those.  If you feel moved to, tell him which ones you like best, and why …


Author: Boar's Head, Eastcheap

Hyperactive English Teacher and Tutor; Shakespeare-obsessed 'Villainous abominable misleader of youth'; 'old white-bearded Satan'; Friend of the Orangutan

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