For some reason, my academically uptight, sociopathically competitive high school was dead-set against assigning Beowulf, even in AP Honors English 12. I graduated during the height of the right-wing conspiratorial book ban, but I'm not sure that even that had anything to do with it. A couple of people I knew read Beowulf on their own, just because they knew they would get to college and everyone else would have read it. Sort of like American Pie for nerds. I thought that was a good idea, but never got around to reading it. So today (and probably a little bit tomorrow) I read Beowulf*. Maybe after I've wrapped my brain around it, I'll write a belated book report for my Grendel-phobic English teacher.
*Seamus Heaney translation, just in case there was another one.