The Owl Eyes Blog

10 Useful Websites for Teachers This Fall

The school year is upon us, so we thought we’d share several of our favorite websites and resources for you hardworking teachers out there. If there are any others you know and love, add them into the comments below!


5 Tips to Keep Up Your Summer Reading

With all the fabulous plans you’ve made, it can be hard to keep up with your reading goals over the summer. I certainly struggle with picking up a book when I want to sleep in and enjoy the sun. However, over the course of my college experience, I picked up some handy tips to integrate reading into my summer plans. The following five tips can help you combine a love for summer with a love of reading...


Did you know "Sonnet 18" was written to a man?

Contrary to popular belief, Sonnet 18 is part of a much longer sonnet sequence that is written to a young man, not a woman. The male narrator anguishes over his unrequited love for a beautiful and vain youth. Yet, despite this complicated and far more interesting history, it’s disregarded as a bland love poem. People have egregiously misinterpreted the almighty Bard for the last couple centuries. Let’s figure out why...


Stories and Quotes from LGBTQ+ Authors of the English Canon

In honor of Pride, we’re focusing on the stories of famous writers who not only shaped Western literature as we know it today, but also improved, altered, or inspired the discourse surrounding sexual identity and gender expectations. Enjoy the following four stories and famous quotes from LGBTQ+ authors...


5 Unlikely Stories That You Won't Be Able to Put Down

When my boss told me to comb through our library and find “guilty pleasures in the public domain,” I was shocked to find more titles than I could fit in this blog. Ghosts, sci fi dystopias, Mean Girls-esque revenge—the public domain has it all! Plus they’re all super low time commitments and will make you sound smart to all of your friends. Pull out your beach chair, throw on some sunscreen, and have a go at these five short stories that you won’t be able to put down all summer...


3 Reasons Why I Read Fiction

Many successful businesspeople, celebrities, and entrepreneurs release reading lists of their favorite books and texts. I’ve noticed that many of these books consist of nonfiction texts, such as biographies, essay collections, and other popular science and psychology works. Sometimes a work of fiction is included, but it’s rare. This can create a perception that reading only nonfiction helps us improve professionally and socially. However, fiction has just as much, if not more, to offer. Let’s look at how reading fiction can improve our personal and professional growth.


How To Get Away With Murder, Claudius-Approved

Our former intern, Marisa Iliakis, put together an extensive guide told from King Claudius's point of view. Huge thanks to Kate Beaton for the inspiration. You can read Hamlet with expert annotations and analyses for free in our library, and check out more of Marisa's work on her website! Happy reading!

Disclaimer: This is not legit advice. Don't do any of these things.


6 Books to Read After You’ve Aced Your AP

Devils, Ghosts, and a Menagerie of Pets: Cramming for the AP has ended, you are well on your way to a relaxing summer, and your brain needs something fun to push that scantron form out of your head. After months of reading disembodied passages and stilted interpretations of said passages, I know I was ready to read something that would excite my imagination—something that mattered. Here are six short stories that will get you geared up for fun summer reading...


Get Caught Reading: Reclaiming Conversation

I’m about two-thirds of the way through a fabulously informative book called Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle. Turkle’s work challenges the notion that “the more connected we are, the better off we are” by examining how technology and social websites have affected our conversations. Twitter and Facebook may appear to better connect us, but Turkle reveals what we lose when we primarily communicate across screens. Building off of the “three chairs” idea from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden...


Best Beatrice and Benedick Insults, Explained

Many people accredit Much Ado About Nothing's lasting success to the hilarious rapid-fire between Beatrice and Benedick. The thing is, Shakespeare used a lot of slang from his time, so many of his jokes no longer make much sense to us. So in order to get the full effect of their brilliant gibes (and trust me, you really do want to) you might need to do a bit of translation to see what they’d sound like if we said them today. Read on if you want to learn how to court someone with insults, according to Beatrice and Benedick...


5 Times Shakespeare's Dogberry Says the Exact Opposite Thing He Means

Shakespeare wrote a lot of crazy characters in Much Ado About Nothing, but Dogberry is just ridiculous. He shows up at the end of Act III just when this comedy is getting a little bit too serious. So, I guess this makes him the “comic relief” of the comedy, if you will. But did Shakespeare include Dogberry for something more than just "comic relief"? Let’s look at what makes Dogberry so funny and hopefully decode this ridiculous Shakespearean character...


5 Times King Lear Had Some (Surprisingly) Good Advice

Shakespeare's King Lear is brimming with family betrayal, loss, and struggles for status, wealth, and power that drive characters into utter madness. But if the tragedy of King Lear were nothing more than meaningless, chaotic mayhem, there’s no way it would have persisted for centuries as one of the most culturally significant Shakespearean tragedies. Let's look at five times that Lear offered us some rather solid, if unconventional, wisdom..


Updates! Annotated Shakespeare and CATE

Well, 2017 is off to a running start—we can barely believe we're already well into February! Owl Eyes continues to grow and develop thanks to feedback from our dedicated users and the hard work of our writing team. Here are some quick updates on what we've been doing on the website...


5 Things to Avoid While Teaching Shakespeare

Getting students to care about Shakespeare can be daunting and even intimidating. Though we often have the best intentions, many of us fall into the following teaching traps when we turn to the Bard. Let's look at these five (extremely common) things to avoid doing while teaching Shakespeare to high school students as well as how I've tried doing things instead...


Not a 1:1 Classroom? Four Ways to Still Use Owl Eyes

Working with technology in the classroom has many benefits, but it can be problematic depending on factors outside of our control. We’ve all had those days where the computer decides to indefinitely snooze or the Internet prefers to inscrutably do its own thing. Or maybe we’ve worked in schools or locations where we have limited (or no!) access to such technology. Whatever the reasons may be, let's examine a few ways Owl Eyes can be useful outside of the classroom...