All of my novels are — in one way or another — tinged with romanticism, but, today, most people have little understanding of the term’s literary meaning and have reduced “romance” to mean little more than the affectations we assume in the pursuit of the amorous attention of a potential lover. Romance, however, as an artistic movement and as a philosophy of living, entails so much more.
Preparing to begin a unit with my college students on English Romantic Poetry, I was reminded of this little questionnaire I invented several years back to allow my students to measure their own level of romanticism, but it’s fairly applicable to anyone of any age, so I thought I’d share.
Respond to each of the following scenarios below in as honest a manner as possible. The answers and a rating system to determine your romantic level follows the questions. Do your best to be honest and, most importantly, have fun!
- It’s the bottom of the last inning in a ball game. Your team is down to its final out and trailing by five runs. There are no runners on base and two strikes on the batter. What do you do? a) begin packing up the equipment, or b) continue to encourage your teammates that you can still come back and win.
- You just finished your second glass of your favorite wine. You’re feeling a little tipsy, but the wine tastes so good and you’re just starting to loosen up and have some fun. Your host offers you another glass. What do you do? a) accept the offer, or b) ask for a glass of water instead.
- You’re at a party at a beach house. The night is sultry. Someone suggests that everyone go for a swim, but you didn’t bring a swimsuit. What do you do? a) beg off and stand on the beach, or b) strip down and go skinny dipping.
- You’re a college student. Due to an excessive amount of pornography being downloaded by students through the university’s server, it has decided to install blocking software. What do you do? a) join fellow students in a march on the administration building to protest such censorship, or b) accept the university’s actions as within their rights and as in the best interest of students’ morality.
- Which route do you walk home? a) the shortest, safest, and best paved route, or b) the long way along the beach.
- You’ve already made plans. You’ve chosen the movie and opened the snacks. You’re in your pajamas. Your best friend calls and asks you to go with her to the grand opening of a new nightclub. What do you do? a) go clubbing, or b) stay the course and watch your movie.
- When you walk past homeless people holding out cups and asking for spare change, what do you do? a) stare straight ahead and walk briskly past, or b) give what change you can spare.
- Your friends all tell you that your boyfriend/girlfriend is not the right one for you. Even your own rational brain sides with your friends. However, your heart disagrees. What do you do? a) follow your head, or b) follow your heart?
- The sign says, “No Lifeguard on Duty. Swim at Own Risk,” What do you do? a) swim, b) build a sand castle
- Which song best describes your philosophy on “hooking up?” a) Stephen Stills’s “Love the One You’re With”? or b) The Flamingoes” “I Only Have Eyes for You”?
- Your parents expect you to go to Christmas church services while you’re home on winter break; however, while at college, you’ve become rather agnostic. What do you do? a) go to church to keep your folks happy, or b) refuse to be a hypocrite and stay home.
- If given the choice to travel back or forward in time, what would you choose? a) the future or b) the past
- Do you believe that the invisible world is inhabited by ghosts, angels, demons, and all sorts of supernatural beings and forces? a) yes or b) no
- If, like Achilles, you were given the choice to a) live gloriously but die young, or b) live a long quiet life, which would you choose?
- If given the choice by a fairy godmother to be either the a) most beautiful/handsome person in the world, or b) the most intelligent, which would you choose?
The Romantic’s Answers – Grade Yourself.
- b, 2) a, 3) b, 4) a, 5) b, 6) a, 7) b, 8) b, 9) a, 10) a, 11) b, 12) b, 13) a, 14) a, 15) a
Rate Yourself as a Romantic
If you scored 13 – 15: Consider yourself “Wildly Romantic!”
If you scored 11 – 12: Consider yourself “Solidly Romantic.”
If you scored 9 – 10: Consider yourself: “Mildly Romantic.”
If you scored less than 9: Consider yourself: “Boring.”
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