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Only If The Horse Has Fleas

March 30, 2014
Red Beans Parade

What I do when I’m not teaching: Red Beans Parade on Lundi Gras. I was a Pink Fla-bean-go and Tyler was a Bean-gal Tyler.

Laura Esquivel’s Like Water For Chocolate is a steamy novel filled with magical realism’s finest chicken tornado and orgasmic suicide. It’s also a recommended text from Common Core, the new educational standards that are controversially sweeping across the United States. Because I’m teaching this novel in my English class in New Orleans, my vocabulary lessons have been extremely interesting.

Penetrate. Castrate. Innuendo. Aphrodisiac.

But the questions and comments I get from the students during our book talks are even more intriguing!

Can you get fleas from doing it on a horse? Can girls be castrated? Can you die from being castrated? Do you turn into a woman if you get castrated? Is whipped cream an aphrodisiac? Is chocolate sauce an aphrodisiac? Is candle wax an aphrodisiac? Ms. Summers, Is “Will you ride my subway?” an innuendo? What’s the difference between a stripper and a prostitute? Can you breast feed if you haven’t had a baby?

My answers are, of course, as G-rated as possible. I don’t teach sex ed, but our kids sure need it.

All jokes aside, teaching this novel has been a fresh breath of air for the kids and me as the End of Course Exams are fast approaching and the pressure is mounting. Graduate school is teaching me some incredible ways to stretch their learning and expand their thinking, so using such a rich, high-interest text has made my job easier, and much, much more more entertaining.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. bevss permalink
    April 5, 2014 3:56 pm

    Ha! Entertaining, I guess! Can you imagine our School Board here letting that fly? Don’t think so.

    Have a great day! Bev


  2. BGT permalink
    April 23, 2014 2:29 pm

    Convince the biology teacher to discuss Galactorrhea and minds would be blown…

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