There is a saying that the more things change the more they stay the same. Australia is down three Tests to one in The Ashes, and if you look at previous England tours’ Test scores you’ll see that’s been a strangely popular result since the1981 series. There does seem to be much more weeping and nashing of teeth, this time around. Year 10 is currently studying Romeo and Juliet and two of the students asked me if I thought in their presentation they could play Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” in the background softly as they spoke. You know you’re really out of touch when you’ve never heard of the song…but it is about the story of Romeo and Juliet. It’s terrific that our students have been thinking about the English Task to make connections with their current popular culture and thinking. It seems like a nice idea they’ve had, and it takes me back to 1991 when one of the boys in my Year 10 class composed his own song and played it on acoustic guitar, such was the emotion around this classic of literature. I spoke to our two students of another song about the play, Dire Straits’ “Romeo and Juliet” from 1980. They looked blankly at me and I guessed they’d never heard of Dire Straits. I think we shared something – a cultural divide through the generations and ages, neither knowing much of the other’s popular music culture but Romeo and Juliet is certainly worth sharing across time.

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