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Spouses complement each other

December 10, 2010|Lisa Prejean

With a half chuckle, half groan, my husband lifted several faded typewritten pages out of a cardboard box.

"I remember having to do this, but I don't remember what it was about."

He was sorting through some of his high school and college belongings at his mother's house.

Most of items he pitched before I could add them to the mound of treasures in our home.

But this one I snatched first.

The title page proclaimed that "Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre" had been written by Austin Prejean and turned in to his English IV teacher Miss Allen on March 7, 1983.

I looked at him with a sense of wonder.

"You? Shakespeare? Were you allowed to pick the topic for your research paper?"

He shrugged, said it was no big deal and went back to sorting.

I wanted to light a candle and take him to a cozy corner to chat. Was this a side of my husband that I knew nothing about?

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He seemed pretty set on finishing the task at hand, so I refocused on the faded pages in my hand.

My husband's thesis statement was carefully placed at the top of his outline: "Shakespeare used one of the great creations, the Globe Theatre, to present many of his famous works."

I've been working on the 11th-grade research papers, so as I read my husband's paper, I started to think like a high school English teacher.

A thesis statement should be clear. Check.

It should be provable. With some examples of plays presented at the Globe Theatre, this statement should work.

Does the statement consider the paper's purpose and the intended audience? I think so. (Am I biased? Playing favorites? You bet.)

Is the intent to describe, explain, argue or persuade? A little of each.

Is the intent revealed in the wording of the statement? Sure. In this case, the reader will learn about the structure of the theater and some of the plays that were presented there.

Perhaps my husband missed his calling.

I thought I would be the one in our family to write a novel someday, but I'm seeing potential here that was never developed.

It was interesting to read the words written by my husband long before we met. (Well, he wasn't my husband long before we met, but you know what I mean.)

He did fairly well on the paper.

He received an "A" for form, "B+" for content and a "C" for mechanics. With a little help on grammar and spelling, who knows where he could be.

Just as an aside, I think it is ironic that grammar, punctuation and spelling often are listed under the heading of mechanics.

My husband is the most mechanically minded person I've ever met. He can fix anything that breaks around the house.

So what if he can't identify a subject-verb agreement error?

That's why he has me.

Perhaps the next time I have writer's block I will go to him.

Maybe he'll quote Shakespeare to me.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at lisap@herald-mail.com.

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