Resistance to Civil Government

I stayed away from my standard manner of teaching Thoreau’s anti-government essay, and my delivery suffered. In the past I’ve spent the whole period “playing Thoreau,” taking what I take to be his position and answering students’ questions in-character.

This semester, because we’ve spent so much time with Plato, I decided instead to focus the discussion on how Thoreau agrees with and departs from Plato. I think the intellectual content might have been better, but I fear that I took the sting out of Thoreau, and to take the sting out of Thoreau rather negates the primary benefit of reading it as a class.

Tomorrow I’m going to try to get all thirty-five remaining essays graded and marked. If I can manage four an hour, that’s a work day. Then, in November, I can devote my time almost exclusively to finishing my own semester’s projects. Here’s hoping…


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