“Though This Be Madness, Yet There Is Method In’t.”

A strange combination of things came together to produce this.

A strange combination of things came together to produce this.

Obviously, today is the day that I’m starting “Julius Caesar” in class. Clearly, the very Elizabethan Pony above is paraphrasing “Hamlet”…mostly because of an experience I had the other night. In fact, the header is also a quote from “Hamlet,” but that more directly refers to my lesson plans, as opposed to dinner choices. Bear with me.

I had gone to the Overland Cafe, now just “The Overland” for dinner. I saw on the menu a Steak Chimichurri, and pretty much immediately asked, “Do I like chimichurri?” No one had a ready answer, so I followed that up with, “What IS chimichurri, anyway?” It turns out that chimmichurri is a green sauce used for grilled meat, originally from Argentina. It is made of finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, vegetable oil, oregano, and white vinegar. So there is that, at least. As a very important side note, I like those things, so I enjoyed the steak.

I’m pretty interested in language in general, so I was curious as to the roots of the name. It doesn’t really have a whole lot of linguistic roots in Spanish that seemed to make any sense. It turns out that the name of the sauce probably comes from Basque “tximitxurri”, (said as “chee-mee-CHOO-ree”), loosely translated as “a mixture of several things in no particular order.” Hostorically, it turns out that many Basques settled in Argentina in the 19th century….lending credence to that root source. I think this is pretty cool, because Basque is a “language isolate.” It is believed to be one of the few surviving pre-Indo-European languages in Europe, and the only one in Western Europe. Basque’s origins are not really known, though the most accepted current theory is that early forms of Basque developed prior to the arrival of Indo-European languages in the area..including the Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian) that geographically surround the Basque-speaking region.

All that from a steak sauce.

Also, for the past several days I have wanted Mexican food. Tacos, Burritos, Tamales, or Chimichangas…its all good. That last part was influenced by the name of the steak sauce…I kind of wanted Chimichangas right then. That led to thinking about Chimichangas and Chimichurri while planning my Shakespeare lessons, which in turn led to the art above.

Got all that?

Today, at least one set of students will be donning makeshift togas over their clothes, and blindly stumbling through a cold read performance of Act I of “Julius Caesar.” I’m going to be putting on a doublet from the Ren Faire, and taking the role of the Bard himself, directing the action and criticizing the acting, calling multiple takes an so forth. I’ve done this sort of thing before…it is usually unintentionally hilarious, and very engaging for students and myself alike.

It is important to note that I both wrote this post, and drew the image BEFORE the actual attempted Cold Read. There’s always a chance that it goes very, very badly…I’ve had that happen once or twice. This is an attempt to marshal positive energy, and some kind of Karmic Resonance, going into a challenging lesson plan.

If it goes badly, I can still pick up Chimichangas after work. Just not Cherrychangas…the introduction of berries into a Chimichanga sounds like a bad idea.

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