As a callow college student long ago, I served my time in Mrs. Robinson's English literature class. I despised Mrs. Robinson for reasons that had nothing to do with literature, but at long last I can admit that the professor had a real passion for her subject and she did her best to pass that passion along to her students.
She was particularly passionate about early English literature. She introduced us to Piers Plowman and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. She tried innovative ways of getting us involved in literature. When it came time to study Shakespeare, she had us list the plants that were mentioned by the bard in his works and then we planted a "Shakespeare garden" on the grounds of the college.
She was also a great believer in memorization of poetry. And so, when we got to Chaucer, she had us memorize the prologue to The Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English. Each of us then had to recite the prologue before our classmates in our best ME accent. I memorized it so thoroughly that even now, when I can't always remember what I had for breakfast yesterday or why I walked into this room, I can still recite that prologue.
So as April begins, here's to you, Mrs. Robinson, and thank you for giving me Chaucer.