Kevin of Languor Management once asked his students for their responses to the poems that accompany Doctor Zhivago. Greeted by silence, he “followed up with a more general question about the novel itself.” More silence. At last, a student raised his hand and began to “summarize the story”:
Student: Omar Sheriff was a doctor who really wanted to be a poet…
Me: Actually, Omar Sheriff was an actor.
Student: Oh… really? I thought he was supposed to be a poet and a doctor.
Me: No, I think he was an actor… or maybe IS still an actor. I’m not sure if he died…
Student: (Incredulous) Do you mean Doctor Zhivago is still alive?! It’s a true story?
Later, the student demanded to know why he didn’t get an “A” in the class. (Okay, I made that part up, but follow the link anyway.)