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So far I have had good books. Nothing boring or pointless.
Here in South Africa we read some local books, which are quite interesting, as well as Shakesphere and a few other titles. I have never had an issue with school books.
Because most of the books are textbooks, that are meant to be read for memorizing key lessons that need to learn to somehow apply into everyday life. Memorizing lots of things is not fun.
So far I've read pretty decent books that have references to other things such as
Fahrenheit 451- Taught you about how corrupt everything can be once you burn books and things. Hard read though.
Lord of the Flies- Didn't like this book at first but once again proved to be interesting and about how things can go without civilization and rules.
Canterbury Tales- Has multiple references from even todays time. I do believe South Park referenced to them one time.
Beowulf- This was alright as well. I didn't care for it all too much but it kept my attention at least.
Night- I'll never ever forget this book.
My two personal favorites were Fahrenheit 451 and Night. I looked forward to reading those two and I do think all the material my school had made us read was rather appropriate and with good cause.
Last edited by Rainbow Crash; 01-17-2011 at 01:10 PM.
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I didn't think the books I was made to read in high school were at all boring. Most of them are taught in English class because they are well written and have wonderful examples on the use of English to teach/ convey certain ideas and morals. Even if I disagreed with what the symbolism some teachers thought something meant, I still enjoyed reading the novels. The authors are worthy of having their works taught in high schools across the States.
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Because of the mistakes of History.
If we are to read "classics" and preserve the "classics" in the minds of young students, then why in Hell stop at Shakespeare, or even Homer? Where's my Gilgamesh, darn it?! I've never seen Gilgamesh assigned in a high school!
And why do the Romans always seem to get left out? The Aeneid is interesting, more so if you evaluate it as Augustan propaganda instead of as myth.
If we are to read them to understand culture, or even culture as it relates to language and writing, then isn't that covered by the social studies department, not the English staff?
And why, then, the particular works chosen? I think Mark Twain's 'non-fiction' works would do far more here than his fiction, certainly more than Elizabethan plays.
If we are to learn how to write narratives or perfect tone from these works, then about the only thing Dickens can impart is a want for brevity and a loathing for the entirety of Victorian fiction. (Certainly, if I describe an author as excessively verbose, things are not well.)
If they are to teach morality, then I fear for our collective future. Taking ethics from fiction is idiotic, like taking ethics from mood rings. There's an entire field of philosophy dedicated to ethics, most of it rational and not directly based in characters, emotions or empathy. (You could apply the ethics you learned to a fictional scenario, though.)
If they are to highlight "problems from today," then:1 - Why are the books so damn old if the problems are contemporary?
2 - If we're supposed to learn that human nature and the progression of societies and states never really varies too much, then why not just teach history? That works nicely.
Yes, reading- both non-fiction and fiction- has both academic and practical uses, but many of the works chosen to be taught and read do not seem to match well with the reasons given. Whether the reasons given may need revision or the works chosen often need reevaluation is a matter for argument, but something is desperately wrong.
Last edited by TheAsterisk!; 03-03-2011 at 08:49 AM. Reason: They were attacking the fences systematically, testing for weaknesses. They remember...
I disagree, where I was we got to read some pretty good books, my favorite that I clearly remember was some kids who should gather some very important stuff and put it in a giant pile to prove something to another kid, and one of the things they end up getting the head of one of the kids dog which they cut off, a crazy book with some crazy kids, if I could remember the name of the book I would probably buy it.
So yeah, maybe you are just unlucky, or maybe they just don't let you read the kind of books you like to read, I'd suggest you talk to your teacher and maybe discuss some books that you would find interesting to read that could have something to do with whatever class you have.
Well I do think your right in some cases.
I hated The Catcher in the Rye
I loved Animal Farm, The Kite Runner, and Lord of the Flies.
I just think it could also depend on your class and teacher about the books you read
I think they should work on the textbooks. Those textbooks sometimes are painful to read
I never read the books the schools told me to read lol
I've looked back on some of the things they've made me read in school, and now I do have a better appreciation for the stories, but still I hate the books. The reading of Dorian Gray was horribly painful, but I really do enjoy the overall story.
Yeah, and there are those authors that do not want their books being used to force kids to read. I think the authors would appreciate it if their books aren't forced, because kids might just end up hating them.
I guess it has something to do with your teacher. Maybe her strategies are not that interesting that's why you think that reading those books are really not helping you.
Although many of the books or plays or poems we were supposed to read and analyse I didn't like, at least I can say I have taken those analytical skills away with me, whereas before they weren't so good. Our teacher never picked the 'good' Shakespeare plays and would always choose the dreariest of poems, but that opinion differs from one person to the next.
At the start of my GCSE's, on one piece of coursework, I got a D because I wasn't being thorough when describing a text or a theme. When I retook it a year later, I go an A because we did more and more practise. Even though I hated most of the practise tests, I stuck with it and now I'm glad I did because my grades are far better off because of it.
The only texts I really liked were Of Mice and Men (I didn't appreciate the novel as much before I had watched the film adaptation), Desiree's Baby (the text I had first got a D on because I didn't give it much of a chance) and then the extract we got on the final exam which was Catch-22, which I plan on reading the full book.
It's cause most good books have inappropriate content or have no moral at the end. But certain books they make us read are good and help us grow as people. We just have to bear through the not so good and savor the good.
You find life unfair? Try being and egg. You only get laid once, you only get eaten once, it takes four minutes to get hard, but only two to get soft, you share a box with eleven other guys, but what's worse was the only chick to sit on you is your mom!
Or, you could go the route of the Japanese Ministry of Education, which is to cut and paste passages from various books into a neat little packaged textbook, complete with convenient little blank spaces to fill in so you can memorize the big words and a patronizing little answer booklet that tells you exactly what you should have thought after reading each page, and have the students do literally nothing but take turns reading aloud the passages word for word during literature class.
From my point of view, at least most of you seem to have got assigned complete, unmutilated books to read at your leisure.
On a more serious note (or maybe not); the way I see it, the teaching of literature is essentially a nationalist endeavor whose chief aim is to indoctrinate citizens with a common language and the sense that they are a members of a common culture, making them more productive members of society and also less likely to make a fuss when the state makes them pay their taxes or ships their families off to war (the development of the printed press is closely related with the rise of nationalism; Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities and whatnot). For example, the first steps of colonization (like what Japan did to Taiwan and Korea and the British did to practically everywhere else) is to make the people learn the language and the literature of the colonialists. Literature has far less to do with the intrinsic value of learning the classics than people sometimes like to think. The only reason some works are chosen is because they're more effective tools of legitimization; beyond that, children can be reading instruction manuals for all extents and purposes.
Last edited by Datenshi; 07-30-2011 at 07:22 AM.
"If a person who indulges in gluttony is a glutton, and a person who commits a felony is a felon, then God is an iron."
-Spider Robinson, God Is an Iron
Most of the books they force people to read at schools are propaganda books so we'll hate the other nations as much as the older generations do.
Not that anyone actually reads them, but the propaganda sessions during classes are painful none the less.
I personally hate some of the books I'm given, though i suppose a lot of this could be up to a teacher's preferences.
I was given Fast Food Nation which is along the same journalism as Supersize Me. I felt like I was re-learning fast-food dangers/rumors we suspect all over again, which only serves to disgust me and make me put off my summer-work longer.
This was for my AP Language course, and i can't help but feel studying the use of rhetorics, quote analyzation and such can be done on a book that's...oh, what's the word??...oh yeah, entertaining!! Gives us some top teen books with action/drama we'll be into, lessons we can learn from, books people actually want to read!! And if not that, then how about some classics like Frankenstein? Once in class I was given The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart and I thouroughly enjoyed it. Shakespeare's take on Caesar was fine work (though i was sick for reading most of the first Act).
This is all I want, not too much to ask, i don't think.
I remember having to read uber crappy books in advanced classes. Don't complain until a dumbass teacher has the class read Twilight. It was painful. That class ruined reading for ke T-T I had to read some of the STUPIDEST books in that class >.>
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