Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lasciate Ogni Speranza Voi Ch'entrate

I reconnected with an old friend this holiday season. There will be more on that later, but I just spent the past few minutes horrifying regaling my husband with stories of my asshole sixteen year-old self.

My senior year of high school brought us a new AP English teacher. He was only there for a year because he really stirred shit up at our high school. As a teacher myself, I can look back and see how he used profanity and sexual imagery in literature not as a learning tool but as a shock factor to upset his students and belittle us when we didn't know what a particular set of symbolism meant. I couldn't stand him, and he couldn't stand me. Neither of us made any bones about it.

At some point during the year he was gone for a period of a week or two. We'd been assigned Dante's Inferno as part of our reading material, so as a dutiful student I took it upon myself to embrace this classic book. One afternoon, while the sub wasn't paying attention, I took a blank piece of paper and a black Sharpie and made a sign.

And I hung it above our classroom door.

Dr. Asshat came back a week later and accused me of doing it. I am sure I had a big ol' shit-eating smirk on my face when I pulled a Shaggy. He didn't take it down, and I never copped to it. That was fine with me. It remained there a good portion of the year, and I felt strangely satisfied everytime I walked down that hallway.

If you haven't figured it out by now, the title of this post is Dante Alighieri's original Italian of the phrase. For the tricky and those inclined to subterfuge, the Latin is pretty groovy, too:

Omnes relinquite spes, o vos intrantes

If you happen to want to hang a sign in your cubicle, that is.


Patois42 said...

I've got quite a few places I'd like to post that sign.

We'd have been fine asshats together in high school.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

OK, I want the Latin/Italian for "Abandon All Hope Ye Who Knock On This Fuckin' Door" to hang up for solicitors. :)

cajunvegan said...

You've totally given me an evil idea.


Deb said...

I have this on a cryptic looking sign and it hangs on our back gate every Halloween.

Love that you made it and hung it!