Tuesday, January 19, 2016
#WeirdEd Week 91- The Princess Bride
It seems incredibly unlikely that we haven't done a Princess Bride chat in 90 weeks. So very very unlikely. It's practically, what's the word I'm looking for...unthinkable* that we haven't done this movie yet.
So this week we shall dive into shrieking eel-infested waters, plan a wedding, kill a bride, and blame someone else for it. This week is all about love and danger and swordplay and giants and death and pain and, maybe, some kissing stuff. This chat will be tasteless (some might say it always is) and odorless (some might say that's never true). The only thing we might not talking about is the Dread Pirate Roberts because that's someone else's gig. I guess we could talk about the new Dread Pirate Roberts though.
The Princess Bride is ripe for teaching. There's vocabulary quizzes, critical thinking, and high stakes tests. Someone is writing an academic paper on a subject near and dear to his heart, and someone else is a great scholar of a very specific art form. In fact, to make this blog more challenging I typed it with my left hand.
How does one test The Machine? What an amazing Maker project. At least he had help. Did the extra finger get in the way? How did Miracle Max learn to make miracles? Did anyone want a peanut?
Think about what a polymath Wesley was. He was only on the pirate ship for five years and in that time he because a swordsman of such a caliber as to defeat a man who had been studying for twenty. Think about how his love carried him up the Cliffs of Insanity after sailing all night, and how it keeps him alive after 50 years of his life were sucked from him. He learns by trial and error in the Fire Swamp, but immediately learns from both mistakes. Think of the ways he saves him own life. Sure he's strong and learned and clever, but what saves his life first? Manners. He says, "Please." Dude was the total package.
Should we mention how ineffectual Buttercup is? We could She's pretty stereotypical for a story of this type. She watches Wesley get chewed on for a real long time and only hits the ROUS when it comes after her. She doesn't have any agency other than that. You could say she tries to take her own fate into her hands at the end when she decides to end it all, but even that she mocks an old man with first in what could be seen as a cry for help, please stop me, I'm telling you my plan. Don't be that teacher. Be Wesley.
*no, this is too easy