in american literature class this morning, we were talking about edward taylor and his poem about the creation of the world. someone in the class mentioned that parts of it sounded like outdoor sports like bocce ball or croquet, and asked if perhaps those lines in the poem would be considered sacrilegious. absolutely not, the professor said, and in fact the puritans loved their recreation. “if you’d like to take a look in my office,” she said, “i have a book entitled puritans at play. it’s on the shelf right next to sex in middlesex.”
in american fiction class, we were discussing an american tragedy and its references to men’s collared shirts. the professor was telling us that the collars and cuffs of shirts in the thirties were buttoned on, so that you could wash the collars and cuffs (which were prone to getting dirty) without having to wash the shirt all the time. “that’s gross!” a girl in class exclaimed. “so they never washed their shirts? didn’t they sweat?” the professor laughed. “well, yes, of course they sweat,” she said, “but you could just put a coat on over the shirt. or you could take off the shirt and work in your underwear in the basement.”
why didn’t anyone tell me that today was sideshow professor day?