Maybe I'm Joining A Cult

So one of my tutoring students was reading Hamlet the other night. Except instead of a tired paperback with teeny weeny footnotes to explain all the obscure words, she was reading Spark Notes online. Which translates every line into modern usage.

17 year old me is very jealous of these kids today and their line by line translations. 

Anyway, my student, let's call her Vivian, is easily distracted.

So am I, but I don't talk about that at work. 

I'm trying to keep her focused, but I'm also trying to be cool because she spent the first part of her session doing a college application and her brain is fried. So when she holds up her screen and says, "Does this ad look freaky to you?" I look instead of telling her to get back to work.

In retrospect, this may have been a mistake. 

The ad, which I'm trying desperately to find so I can inflict it upon you guys, is indeed freaky. It's for SparkLife and it has odd looking cartoon characters beckoning us to join SparkLife. Neither Vivian nor I know what SparkLife is at this point. I agree that it does look freaky and mention that it looks like they're recruiting for something like a cult.

The ad was still terrible, though. The characters  looked like what would happen if Mike Judge (of King of the Hill and Beavis and Butthead) drew a movie about the perils of Scientology.

Actually, I would watch a Mike Judge movie about Scientology because I think it's ripe for skewering and I really liked Office Space. 

So I encouraged Vivian to keep refreshing her page until the ad went away. But neither one of us could stop thinking about it. Our speculation even distracted my other student, who is usually very dedicated to whatever work he is doing and generally seems slightly annoyed when I try to make too much non-work related conversation with him.

What can I say? I genuinely like talking to all the students. 

I got so obsessed with the weird ad I even gave Vivian the option of starting a graphic horror novel with those characters wooing someone into the cult of Spark Life as part of her learning log. Vivian really likes drawing, so I thought maybe she'd go for it.

I am very good at coming up with novel ideas and terrible at actually writing them. So yes, I gave my idea to Vivian, hoping she'd have more follow through. Plus, she can draw, which I gather is important in graphic novel creation. 

Vivian turned me down because it would be more work than her regular learning log. But she did promise that if she has to write any fiction for school, this is the story she will use.

As Vivian finished her (regular, boring) learning log assignment and my other student promised me that he did not need any help, I had ample time to think. And while I probably could have been doing something useful like reading through the binder of the student who was coming in next, I instead wondered what kind of cult SparkLife could be.

I've since discovered that SparkLife is not a cult, it's the SparkNotes lifestyle blog. And though it's meant for people less than half my age, it's actually rather entertaining. I know this because I just wasted too much time reading, "Classic Literature, Mansplained" and "Shakespeare Plays Summed Up in Pie Charts." 

Wait, maybe it is a cult.

A cult for Harry Potter nerds who think sorting Hamlet characters in Hogwarts houses is a fun idea. I've found my internet home away from home. 

It's not only a cult, it's my cult. 

I mean, this is an actually post on the site:

 Teacher Translator

I wrote a similar post once, that I've since deleted for being too mean.

It's hard to believe I've ever deleted anything, let alone something that was "too mean". But I did. I went through a phase of trying to make this blog one of those blogs I can't stand in the hopes I could make more money from it. I failed miserably. I think I need to rewrite this post. 

Or go write for SparkLife, even though I'll have to lie about my age. 

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