By Tyler Charnik
Saratoga Springs High School English teacher, Katie Cole is attempting to create a new English elective for seniors. The course, “Shakespeare: To See or Not To See” will combine Shakespeare’s original writings with modern interpretations of his works, both direct modifications and new literature influenced by his work.
The largest concern of Cole’s is that students will not sign up for the class if it is indeed passed, as Shakespeare is not a particularly appealing subject from a student standpoint.
“I want to go talk to English eleven classes to inform them about the class, so they know what it is about,” said Cole. She wants prospective students to know about the course and about Shakespeare’s good qualities, rather than the stereotypical boredom associated with his plays.
Cole believes the students will benefit from this course since Shakespeare is prominent in the social atmosphere as of 2018. Cole said Shakespeare appears in everyday life, whether it be in movies such as She’s All That or Gnomeo and Juliet, as well as in references and situations throughout day-to-day life.
Junior Class President Trinity Hogben, who studied Shakespeare with Mrs. Cole said, “She presented it in a fun way that was understandable for all students. I think that most students don’t think that Shakespeare is interesting because it is written in a vernacular of a different era and is harder to understand.”
Hogben trusts Cole to liven up Shakespeare studies. “I feel like most teachers teach Shakespeare because they have to, not because they want to, but she was the most excited when teaching Shakespeare” Hogben said.
Lisa Quinn, who has taught with Cole for seven years, has witnessed Cole’s passion for Shakespeare first hand. Quinn said, “The way she approaches Shakespeare, by having the students act it out in costumes, really engages them.”
The course is pending approval from the school board. If it is passed, it will be available to the Class of 2020 for the 2019-2020 school year.