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(Telegraph)   "Catcher in the Rye", and "To Kill a Mockingbird" to be replaced in US classrooms by texts such as "Recommended Levels of Insulation," "Invasive Plant Inventory," and "How to Turn Critical Thinkers in to Welfare Recipients"   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 352
    More: Asinine, Catcher in the Rye, Harper Lee, classic book, J.D. Salinger, National Governors Association, curriculum, standards-based education reform, critical thinking  
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9347 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Dec 2012 at 5:43 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-07 07:54:52 PM

meanmutton: doyner: FTFA: "A new school curriculum which will affect 46 out of 50 states will make it compulsory for at least 70 per cent of books studied to be non-fiction, in an effort to ready pupils for the workplace. "
And here is precicely the underlying problem in the US. We have changed our education system into a worker-bee development system.

ed·u·ca·tion/ˌɛdʒʊˈkeɪʃən/ Show Spelled [ej-oo-key-shuhn] noun
1. the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.

Education has nothing to do with being able to start working at Home Depot or Microsoft. Call me whackadoodle, but this is an indicator of our march from citizens to serfs.

Apparently your schooling was light on history.


OK, I laughed. Touche'
 
2012-12-07 07:57:08 PM

Indubitably: Gyrfalcon: Indubitably: Gyrfalcon: Indubitably: BronyMedic: Indubitably: Did you see my previous post about overreacting?

You should.

Aren't you assuming that I'm "ovrreacting", and not further trolling people who seem to think a single grammatical error matters in a non-academic conversation on the internet?

Tisk tisk. Didn't your mother teach you what happens when you assume?

Yeah, and she also taught me how to spell "tsk" too.

*)

You "spell" tsk?

Is this a question or a statement?

An interrogatory.

Cute.

So, did you pass?


P.S. I have no alts. I don't alt. WYSIWYG. Word.

P.P.S. Kittay? You read this yet? You should.

P.P.P.S. Next alt-accusation, and I don't *spec* what I will do... *)
 
2012-12-07 07:58:29 PM

IronMyno: Indubitably: Indubitably: Skirl Hutsenreiter: Summercat: Can we get rid of Hemingway too? Old Man and the Sea was... Blesgh.

I don't know why anyone uses that piece of crap. Prejudiced me against Hemingway for years. After some more exposure, now I actually quite like Hemingway's short fiction. Still haven't found a novel of his that I'm really a fan of.

\I don't know why teachers seem surprised when modern children don't relate to postwar literature.

Try his travel pieces and think.

"How can I make history come to light for my students? Is it the text? Or is it me? Or both?"

Whenever I hear about a book that didn't work in a class, I hear about a teacher more...

I dunno, I had an English Lit teacher that i would have sold my soul to have as a lover and even she couldn't make "Ethan Frome" tolerable.

// that was a terrible story.. well written but awfull none-the less


///She obviously didn't teach you dashing...
 
2012-12-07 08:02:15 PM
sorry, i thought caulfield was a whiny little mope who should have gotten stomped and kids are better off not reading it.

instead, read Irvine Welsh, kids.
 
2012-12-07 08:04:09 PM

The Jami Turman Fan Club: dickfreckle: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Then again, either way, Catcher in the Rye was a horrendously stupid book, so it's of no loss to the classroom, imo.

/puts on flame retardant suit

You won't need that suit around me. I despise that book. It's not the worst thing I've ever read, but it's clearly the one with the most unearned importance attached to it. On the Road is in that league as well.

Walden Two, by B.F. Skinner. Easily the worst book I've ever read, but then I've never tried Twilight.


I haven't read Walden Two, but a quick look at the Wiki shows it has some potential as a story... If you get more than 60 30 pages into the first Twilight book, I'd be suprised.
 
2012-12-07 08:06:26 PM
The motivated kids will get to college no matter what the local school/daycare teaches them.

And there is nothing wrong with knowing recommended levels of insulation. Those are the kinds of people we need more of... the kind who know how to make $30/hour without being stupid enough to saddle themselves with $50k in college debt when they are 22. Those people are farking idiots.
 
2012-12-07 08:07:11 PM
This sounded pretty bad until I read the NYT article linked to up top in the thread. Then I remembered that I took an AP English Language class (i.e. a college-level English class that was all nonfiction essays) in 11th grade that was far and away both the most exciting and most informative experience I had with the English language since originally learning to read. I had no idea what even really constituted an essay until I took that class. Can you believe that? And I went to a very, very good public school too!

Too many English teachers just hand out books to read and then ask questions about the plot or how you feel about the plot. That's worthless, and when the books are long, droll crap that's uninteresting to the common student but gets picked because it's old or because of political correctness it kills their interest in reading. Essays are shorter. Students who wouldn't normally give a shiat might actually read it since it's not as daunting a task. And since you can cover more ground, you're more likely to find something that actually interests a particular reader. On top of that, when you're attempting to teach pupils how to analyze and imitate the literary and rhetorical techniques that professional authors use to make their points--something that should be the main goal of every single English class from about Junior High onward but is tragically overlooked in my experience--it lets teachers choose from a greater diversity of examples and the short sample size will make it easier for students to skim through when they're trying to figure it out.

Now, all this nonsense about reading recipes and timetables sounds ridiculous to me, as any student should be able to do that towards the end of high school, but I would certainly be in favor of reading a whole lot more non-fiction in English classes so long as it's used to further actual English skills.
 
2012-12-07 08:07:55 PM
Is this a combined catcher in the rye/ ayn rand thread now?
 
2012-12-07 08:11:58 PM

ProfessorOhki: James F. Campbell: By the way, Ishidan, there's a great future of unemployment awaiting your future STEM graduates.

Beats the hell out of the average:
[technicallybaltimore.com image 797x321]

Especially if you're in tech, math, or physical/life sciences:
[technicallybaltimore.com image 540x323]

I like how your source put "life, physical, & social science" as a category. You know, because a microbiologist and economist can expect similar job markets.

/hot


Yes, and how many of those jobs are filled by Americans?

Ishidan: Ok wow...that one caught me by surprise.
So what piece of classical literature should I use to analyze this information? Ah, the context that has come from a well rounded American education, it allows me to recognize exactly HOW we're being screwed.

"1984" and "Brave New World" appears to be popular here today, of course, as is "The Grapes of Wrath", but what work of fiction features a country's leaders outright screwing their own citizens in favor of importing cheap labor from elsewhere-while tacitly admitting that the "foreigners" are perfectly capable of the work?


You stupid, false dichomtomy-loving motherfarker.
 
2012-12-07 08:12:23 PM

FlyingLizardOfDoom: Catcher in the Rye was a stupid book.


Holden Caufield was just a rich, whining biatch.
 
2012-12-07 08:13:19 PM

James F. Campbell: dichomtomy dichotomy


Fixed before the herp and derp, hopefully.
 
2012-12-07 08:13:21 PM

Darth_Lukecash: This is particularly sad. It is imagination that leads to innovation. Innovation leads to efficiency, progress and improvement.


Would this explain why we're still number one in the world for innovation? 


/ So if we follow this, we'll neither be technically talented nor innovative!
 
2012-12-07 08:14:45 PM
Okay, I know from my 20 years working as a teacher that this is futile to discuss, and I know from my two years of Fark that no one will read this, but I'm on my third fourth beer, so here goes.

The primary goal of publically funded education is to prepare citizens to be useful, productive members of that public.

So, what does this mean?

I was taught that a productive member of a public needs to know enough about the world to vote, to have an opinion based on more than emotional response. Therefore, a "well-rounded" education covered enough philosophy and history and so on to allow me to think, at least a bit, for myself. The goal, and I felt this throughout my K-12 schooling, was to make me something other than an automaton who voted for someone before they spouted phrases I liked ("I feel your pain") or for something just because it had a pretty name (e.g., The Patriot Act).

Other people (including those of my "generation," I'm sure) doubtlessly got other explanations for what it means to be a "useful, productive member of the public." But it was my impression that, ultimately, the idea was to make everyone a valuable citizen.

Right now, it would seem the definition of "valuable citizen" is "someone who can get a job."

I have no idea if this is a good or bad thing. I strongly distrust anyone right now who claims they know if this is a good or bad thing.

It does reflect, however, that we live in a global economy, where having an unemployable workforce weakens us. It also reflects that we are in a recession, though no longer the Great Recession, where unemployment impacts so many other economic issues.

Moreover, and this is where my personal opinion is going to flop over everything, it reflects a growing schism between a "classical" education and a "practical" or vocational education.

If I could wish one thing for America's educational system, it would be that vocational training would lose its taint as "stupid people's" education. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, "stupid" about learning a trade. We are in desperate need of skilled laborers, and yet we scorn them. We think of them as the "great unwashed."

Why? What good is someone who can quote poetry but cannot produce anything of use?

However, what good is a university education if it cannot produce graduates who can think of life in poetic terms? Do we really want the "great thinkers" of our time to be raised on nothing but practical literature?

We have before us now a generation (I hate the term, but what else can I use?) of people who went to college to get a "better job." They weren't just told that a BA/BS would give them a better life, they were PROMISED it would do so. Moreover, a "better life" was specifically defined as a "better job."

But there just aren't that many "better jobs" to go around. The pyramid narrows at the top. We need more workers than we do managers, and that is never, ever going to change.

So what we have now is a workforce that has been told that being an actual worker is being "stupid" and "uneducated." And when someone with an education who thinks they're smart goes looking for a job, they find only employment for stupid, uneducated people, if they can find any work at all.

And don't forget that many a person with a college degree have applied for a practical job and been turned down for being "overqualified."

The best response to this problem, IMO, is to realize that not everyone needs to study Shakespeare and many people would do much better and be much happier learning a trade (without being labeled "one of those people").

What we see in this article is a somewhat clumsy attempt (but aren't all initial attempts clumsy?) to address this gap between a classical and a practical education. The main reason it's so clumsy, however, is that Americans hate the idea of elitism and refuse to separate children during their primary/secondary education. Since the "elite" ideals of Shakespeare and Modern Lit (by which I mean Catcher in the Rye/The Bell Jar/As I Lay Dying, etc.) don't produce good worker bees, the idea here is that everyone must go to the bottom rung.

(Harrison Bergeron? Anyone? Beuller?)

God forbid we should allow high school students choices, options to follow philosophy or plumbing, law or auto mechanics.

It's a challenge America has set for itself that I fear cannot be resolved. We want to provide the best education we can for our students (provided our taxes stay low), but we don't want to individualize that education, and thus limit students' choices. In the end, the education we provide is bad, and they have no choices at all beyond what they carve out for themselves.
 
2012-12-07 08:16:17 PM
Not for nothing, but TCITR is intilectually worthless. TKAM is a much much more compelling book.
 
2012-12-07 08:16:22 PM

ProfessorOhki: I tried finding them on Google, but all I came up with are guides on outsourcing and sites that let you outsource the creation of fictional narratives.


I can't believe you farking ingrates think that literature has no scholarly value whatsoever. "Hurr durr derp derp, you can't teach critical thinking with literature!"

Don't you farking realize that you're playing right into the authoritarians' hands?
 
2012-12-07 08:19:01 PM

Diogenes: So weird.

Growing up, my parents taught me applicable labor-based skills. How to do basic electronics. How to service a car engine. How to sew. How to build things. How to fix things. And in school I learned literature and science and math and history.

Today my parents would be making me read The Red Badge of Courage at home and at school I'd be learning how to gap a spark plug.


In my junior year I had English class before Auto Shop, so yea, schools use to taugh both, now they only teach "how to look crap up on Google 101" cause you don't need to know anything when you have an iPhone in your pocket.
 
2012-12-07 08:21:50 PM

gimmechocolate: Okay, I know from my 20 years working as a teacher that this is futile to discuss, and I know from my two years of Fark that no one will read this, but I'm on my third fourth beer, so here goes.

The primary goal of publically funded education is to prepare citizens to be useful, productive members of that public.

So, what does this mean?

I was taught that a productive member of a public needs to know enough about the world to vote, to have an opinion based on more than emotional response. Therefore, a "well-rounded" education covered enough philosophy and history and so on to allow me to think, at least a bit, for myself. The goal, and I felt this throughout my K-12 schooling, was to make me something other than an automaton who voted for someone before they spouted phrases I liked ("I feel your pain") or for something just because it had a pretty name (e.g., The Patriot Act).

Other people (including those of my "generation," I'm sure) doubtlessly got other explanations for what it means to be a "useful, productive member of the public." But it was my impression that, ultimately, the idea was to make everyone a valuable citizen.

Right now, it would seem the definition of "valuable citizen" is "someone who can get a job."

I have no idea if this is a good or bad thing. I strongly distrust anyone right now who claims they know if this is a good or bad thing.

It does reflect, however, that we live in a global economy, where having an unemployable workforce weakens us. It also reflects that we are in a recession, though no longer the Great Recession, where unemployment impacts so many other economic issues.

Moreover, and this is where my personal opinion is going to flop over everything, it reflects a growing schism between a "classical" education and a "practical" or vocational education.

If I could wish one thing for America's educational system, it would be that vocational training would lose its taint as "stupid people's" education. There is nothing, a ...


we had to read lots of shakespeare in school. it was a good background, especially if the teacher was smart enough to point out the parts that would make your typical 15 year old male laugh.

if you're a teacher drinking beer on fark why haven't you slept with your students yet?
 
2012-12-07 08:24:20 PM

James F. Campbell: ProfessorOhki: James F. Campbell: By the way, Ishidan, there's a great future of unemployment awaiting your future STEM graduates.

Beats the hell out of the average:
[technicallybaltimore.com image 797x321]

Especially if you're in tech, math, or physical/life sciences:
[technicallybaltimore.com image 540x323]

I like how your source put "life, physical, & social science" as a category. You know, because a microbiologist and economist can expect similar job markets.

/hot

Yes, and how many of those jobs are filled by Americans?


Irrelevant. There's plenty of non-Americans filling the non-STEM roles as well. You don't get to exclude them from just some of the groups. I think we'll just leave the goalposts where they started.

Indubitably: IronMyno:

// that was a terrible story.. well written but awfull none-the less

///She obviously didn't teach you dashing hyphenation...


Joining words is performed with a hyphen, not a dash. I would show you the difference between hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes... but apparently Fark refuses to acknowledge the distinction too.
 
2012-12-07 08:25:31 PM

Nehllah: I'm enjoying that the people who are upset keep mentioning critical thinking.

So, you're telling me you learned critical thinking from reading fiction, but you took the article at face value, maybe only read the headline, and definitely didn't factcheck anything? Does that sound about right?


From the actual article:

Suggested non-fiction texts include Recommended Levels of Insulation by the the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Invasive Plant Inventory, by California's Invasive Plant Council.

When one reads a newspaper article, one generally expects that the JOURNALIST has done some fact-checking, and has engaged in a bit of critical thinking of his/her own. If the reader has to do all of her own fact-checking and critical thinking, then what you have is not in fact an "article" it's just a few words pasted together by an idiot who wanted to get people outraged and/or thought they were being funny: "Ha-ha, schools are going to have kids reading EPA regulations isn't that hysterical!" and not actually write a news article.

In either case, the facts did not get disseminated. You, however, are merely promulgating the so-called journalist's laziness by mocking the readers' lack of knowledge and by failing to explain these facts; and by refusing to provide any information which the writer of the article did not that might have explained things better. So you're really no better than either the writer or the people you scorn.
 
2012-12-07 08:26:01 PM

my alt's alt's alt: oh and when someone tells me their favorite book is catcher in the rye i just end the conversation there and walk away. people are entitled to their opinions and personal preferences, but that particular detail is beyond telling.


Could be worse, they could tell you it's The Bible.

/pulls on his Nomex suit and ducks into his Transite-lined bunker
 
2012-12-07 08:27:58 PM

AssAsInAssassin: Is it any wonder that the monkey's confused?
He said "Mama, Mama, the presiden'ts a fool.
Why do I have to keep reading these technical manuals?"
And the joint chiefs of staff and the brokers on Wall Street said
"Don't make us laugh, you're a smart kid
Time is linear, memory's a stranger, history is for fools,
Man is a tool in the hands of the Great God Almighty."
And they gave him command
of a nuclear submarine
and sent him back
in search of the Garden of Eden.

/Roger Waters


He's a prophet.
 
2012-12-07 08:28:49 PM

James F. Campbell: You stupid, false dichotomy-loving motherfarker.


Ad hominem.

/see, I can play the "throw out the names of logical fallacies" game, too
 
2012-12-07 08:28:59 PM
Omahawg: if you're a teacher drinking beer on fark why haven't you slept with your students yet?

Ex-teacher. I saw the light.

/students too gross to sleep with, honestly.
 
2012-12-07 08:30:54 PM

Ishidan: more stupidity


Let me explain it to you simply and briefly: close reading. The practice and mastery of close reading allows you to detect manipulation. Focusing on the words, their meanings, their connotations. Why these words? What is really being said? That's a skill developed in literature classes, and it's part and parcel of critical thinking -- a skill that can undermine an authoritarian attempt at manipulation or control.

There's a reason newly-minted authoritarian states execute academics first instead of scientists, engineers, or ... whatever you are.
 
2012-12-07 08:31:54 PM
Freaky. Just before looking at this headline I looked at my bookshelf and To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye are sitting one on top of the other.
 
2012-12-07 08:33:01 PM

James F. Campbell: ProfessorOhki: I tried finding them on Google, but all I came up with are guides on outsourcing and sites that let you outsource the creation of fictional narratives.

I can't believe you farking ingrates think that literature has no scholarly value whatsoever. "Hurr durr derp derp, you can't teach critical thinking with literature!"

Don't you farking realize that you're playing right into the authoritarians' hands?


Other way around. There's nothing an authoritarian would rather have than a subservient mass of easily-entertained people with no real world skills who spend their time making up and reading stories. You want playing into their hands? Look at 'reality' TV.

A populace well versed in facts - one that actually has the skills to tell what's going on and retaliate if need be - is the last thing such an imagined enemy would want. Go back to watching your parlor wall, citizen.
 
2012-12-07 08:33:28 PM

ProfessorOhki: James F. Campbell: ProfessorOhki: James F. Campbell: By the way, Ishidan, there's a great future of unemployment awaiting your future STEM graduates.

Beats the hell out of the average:
[technicallybaltimore.com image 797x321]

Especially if you're in tech, math, or physical/life sciences:
[technicallybaltimore.com image 540x323]

I like how your source put "life, physical, & social science" as a category. You know, because a microbiologist and economist can expect similar job markets.

/hot

Yes, and how many of those jobs are filled by Americans?

Irrelevant. There's plenty of non-Americans filling the non-STEM roles as well. You don't get to exclude them from just some of the groups. I think we'll just leave the goalposts where they started.

Indubitably: IronMyno:

// that was a terrible story.. well written but awfull none-the less

///She obviously didn't teach you dashing hyphenation...

Joining words is performed with a hyphen, not a dash. I would show you the difference between hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes... but apparently Fark refuses to acknowledge the distinction too.


Mine was poetic; yours is prescriptive...
 
2012-12-07 08:34:44 PM

ProfessorOhki: James F. Campbell: ProfessorOhki: I tried finding them on Google, but all I came up with are guides on outsourcing and sites that let you outsource the creation of fictional narratives.

I can't believe you farking ingrates think that literature has no scholarly value whatsoever. "Hurr durr derp derp, you can't teach critical thinking with literature!"

Don't you farking realize that you're playing right into the authoritarians' hands?

Other way around. There's nothing an authoritarian would rather have than a subservient mass of easily-entertained people with no real world skills who spend their time making up and reading stories. You want playing into their hands? Look at 'reality' TV.

A populace well versed in facts - one that actually has the skills to tell what's going on and retaliate if need be - is the last thing such an imagined enemy would want. Go back to watching your parlor wall, citizen.

Grrrer.

 
2012-12-07 08:35:17 PM

ProfessorOhki: Other way around. There's nothing an authoritarian would rather have than a subservient mass of easily-entertained people with no real world skills who spend their time making up and reading stories. You want playing into their hands? Look at 'reality' TV.


Really? You think watching reality TV is the same thing as reading literature in an English class? Ah, I see, you're either a moron or a troll. Either way, you're an enormous waste of oxygen.
 
2012-12-07 08:38:43 PM

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Then again, either way, Catcher in the Rye was a horrendously stupid book, so it's of no loss to the classroom, imo.


No arguments there. That's the one book from high school that made me feel dumber after reading it.
 
2012-12-07 08:39:36 PM
Wait... You mean that history classes may be forced to require primary source reading?

That science courses will teach actual science with citations, studies, and charts rather than just bulling your way through with 'and here are diagrams'?

Lit courses that include popular criticism, texts from the time regarding works, historical information?

Yes. Yes. A million times yes!
 
2012-12-07 08:41:41 PM

James F. Campbell: ProfessorOhki: Other way around. There's nothing an authoritarian would rather have than a subservient mass of easily-entertained people with no real world skills who spend their time making up and reading stories. You want playing into their hands? Look at 'reality' TV.

Really? You think watching reality TV is the same thing as reading literature in an English class? Ah, I see, you're either a moron or a troll. Either way, you're an enormous waste of oxygen.


For someone who's defending creative writing, you're certainly bad on picking up tone. You have to read between the lines- really pick up on the symbolism behind the facade of the text itself. What does the "TV" represent? Is it just a box? No. It's a mirror; a mirror that allows humanity to gaze back upon itself.

/Please catch it this time?
//I really don't think I can sarcasm any harder
///Though, I am willing to try if need be
 
2012-12-07 08:41:42 PM
gimmechocolate


I'm generally a dick here, mostly posting out of amusement or annoyance. And I almost never read long posts such as yours, but I found your post to be one of the more thoughtful and eloquent things I have read here. Cheers to you.

/tilts Newcastle
 
2012-12-07 08:41:58 PM
Farking hated every so-called "classic" they forced down our throats. Bored me to tears. Pretentious drivel, from Jane Eyre to Of Mice and Men. It was the literary equivalent of being forced to watch the Hallmark Channel, which I also detest.

The only positive thing from my parents moving me around during high school was only catching maybe a quarter of what everyone else had to endure as I managed to dodge the one summer of huge reading lists that every school featured.

Give me nonfiction or give me explosions and magic in my books. Nonfiction is purely for escapism and should never resemble reality.

I wish this was a troll. Seriously though I can't stand reading existential wrangling and the minutiae of daily lives of characters. Even Tolkien gets old with entire pages dedicated to some detail of the landscape. Sorry, gets in the way of epic plot in my opinion. I have ADD and my brain literally starts falling asleep if it's not being stimulated enough and a lot of writing that isn't sci-fi or fantasy knocks it right out.

Replace all the lit classes with real stuff and I won't mind one whit. Never read The Catcher In The Rye and it didn't stop me from appreciating the movie Conspiracy Theory. Can't remember another context in which it's even come up in my 36 years except from people who do enjoy literay classics. More power to them.
 
2012-12-07 08:44:51 PM
Government knows best.
 
2012-12-07 08:45:46 PM
has somebody mentioned Holden Caulfield being whiny yet? I'm too lazy to check.
 
2012-12-07 08:47:20 PM
To label

Yet again...

*)
 
2012-12-07 08:48:57 PM

cptjeff: Skirl Hutsenreiter: Summercat: Can we get rid of Hemingway too? Old Man and the Sea was... Blesgh.

I don't know why anyone uses that piece of crap. Prejudiced me against Hemingway for years. After some more exposure, now I actually quite like Hemingway's short fiction. Still haven't found a novel of his that I'm really a fan of.

\I don't know why teachers seem surprised when modern children don't relate to postwar literature.

I loved Hemmingway as a teen. Still do, though I don't read much of him often these days, I've got so much other stuff piled up and waiting. Hemmingway isn't a crappy writer just because his style isn't to your taste, and the fact that you don't like him doesn't mean that everybody in your age group hates him.

I enjoyed The Old Man and the Sea the first time I read it, middle school IIRC, and still enjoy rereading it every couple of years today. And I can't say I can remember hearing many people in classes where it was read complain, at least any more than the standard, "I hate reading" group.

On the other hand, I loathe Dickens. I have a friend who loves everything he's ever written. I love Victor Hugo, my brother couldn't make it more than 50 pages into The Hunchback of Notre Dame. All three of those authors are literary greats, and should be broadly read. Will you like every writing style? No. Is it worth being exposed to them? Hell yes. And if you don't like Hemmingway's style, you should be thankful your teacher didn't assign you For Whom the Bell Tolls. The Old Man and the Sea is at least short, though the high school you might have enjoyed the sex in For Whom the Bell Tolls.


We had The Sun Also Rises in high school. It was another one that didn't particularly resonate with the class at an all girls school, but I didn't find it as simplistic and monotonous as The Old Man and the Sea.

Willa Cather was another one where the teacher's choice did not line up with the author's best work IMHO. We did My Antonia, and I got tired of the food. I didn't try another Cather for ten years (O Pioneers!, which I loved) and now I count Death Comes for the Archbishop as one of my favorite novels. My Antonia, though, I still don't see the merit in - so far as I can tell, it was primarily chosen from her works just for the amount of symbolism that there was to analyze.

And I like Dickens, but from that period I actually prefer Hardy, which no one reads in school. Oh, well.
 
2012-12-07 08:50:38 PM

rhondajeremy: Looks like Brave New World more & more is becoming a reality...scary stuff.


Have your soma and be happy.
 
2012-12-07 08:52:06 PM
As long as they pull Fahrenheit 451 off the shelves, all is well. It gives the unwashed masses funny ideas
 
2012-12-07 08:53:05 PM

James F. Campbell: Ishidan: more stupidity

Let me explain it to you simply and briefly: close reading. The practice and mastery of close reading allows you to detect manipulation. Focusing on the words, their meanings, their connotations. Why these words? What is really being said? That's a skill developed in literature classes, and it's part and parcel of critical thinking -- a skill that can undermine an authoritarian attempt at manipulation or control.

There's a reason newly-minted authoritarian states execute academics first instead of scientists, engineers, or ... whatever you are.


So we've gone from discussing employability in both technical and labor fields to resisting government authoritarianism, have we?

There's a reason your profile says "I get paid to go to school" instead of "I get paid to work", I suppose. However, most people won't and can't be like you. They need to be EMPLOYABLE.

What am I? I'm employed. You?

Employed in what? Well, I've been a paraprofessional, as an AHERA asbestos inspector (which is where I wrote reports in business-prescribed style, meant to answer scientific questions in a predictable way: to wit, "I have discovered asbestos in your building using the techniques described in the manual. I have diagrammed them using standard architectural notation, as found in THAT manual. I will observe the abatement workers to ensure that they follow THEIR manual during its removal.). Today, I'm in a similar but wider field-but nonetheless, following a manual is a key part of the job, being inventive in physical manipulation is a key part of the job, being able to detect metapolitical shenanigans is not.

Hey, sucks that you'll be the first against the wall when your hypothetical dictator sweeps to power...maybe you should learn how to drive a truck?

/yeah I'm pulling your chain, long and hard. Might be because I have a Bachelor of Arts, and I'm told I'd make more money if I got a CDL. Therefore, I speak from experience in regards to the employment value of a non-technical education: there is none.
 
2012-12-07 08:55:54 PM
There was once this guy that wasted his time in calligraphy class in college. He wasn't even going to the school that was teaching the class, he just wanted to learn a dying art. Can you imagine that, calligraphy? Long story short, he was a miserable failure his whole life and never did anything worthwhile, except be one of the founders of Apple computers.
 
2012-12-07 08:56:13 PM
doubled99

Thank you! :-)
 
2012-12-07 08:58:17 PM

Skirl Hutsenreiter: cptjeff: Skirl Hutsenreiter: Summercat: Can we get rid of Hemingway too? Old Man and the Sea was... Blesgh.

I don't know why anyone uses that piece of crap. Prejudiced me against Hemingway for years. After some more exposure, now I actually quite like Hemingway's short fiction. Still haven't found a novel of his that I'm really a fan of.

\I don't know why teachers seem surprised when modern children don't relate to postwar literature.

I loved Hemmingway as a teen. Still do, though I don't read much of him often these days, I've got so much other stuff piled up and waiting. Hemmingway isn't a crappy writer just because his style isn't to your taste, and the fact that you don't like him doesn't mean that everybody in your age group hates him.

I enjoyed The Old Man and the Sea the first time I read it, middle school IIRC, and still enjoy rereading it every couple of years today. And I can't say I can remember hearing many people in classes where it was read complain, at least any more than the standard, "I hate reading" group.

On the other hand, I loathe Dickens. I have a friend who loves everything he's ever written. I love Victor Hugo, my brother couldn't make it more than 50 pages into The Hunchback of Notre Dame. All three of those authors are literary greats, and should be broadly read. Will you like every writing style? No. Is it worth being exposed to them? Hell yes. And if you don't like Hemmingway's style, you should be thankful your teacher didn't assign you For Whom the Bell Tolls. The Old Man and the Sea is at least short, though the high school you might have enjoyed the sex in For Whom the Bell Tolls.

We had The Sun Also Rises in high school. It was another one that didn't particularly resonate with the class at an all girls school, but I didn't find it as simplistic and monotonous as The Old Man and the Sea.

Willa Cather was another one where the teacher's choice did not line up with the author's best work IMHO. We did My Antonia, and I got ti ...


I think you suck as a teacher at your school apparently?

Please.

Quit insulting our collective intelligence, please.

To engage
 
BHK
2012-12-07 09:01:26 PM

Grand_Moff_Joseph: dickfreckle: Spitting out a kid who can only write as though it were a technical manual is not the way to fix things.

Um, what do you think the education systems of half the world have been doing for the last 20 years? Those folks may not even know who Shakespeare is, but they did a dang good job gutting our manufacturing and technology industries. 


They probably know who Shakespeare is, and they won't be going backwards with their children, teaching them to be unthinking, mindless worker drones as they accumulate more wealth. They'll push their children into creative pursuits and they'll not only crush the US in manufacturing and technology, but in whatever the next frontier in human progress is as well. Here, it'll just be a bunch of government worshiping welfare cases who cower behind fences and eat GMO garbage while they cheer every TV show that makes out America to be the best damned country and the freest nation on earth.



Perhaps we need to fight back in the same manner to catch up. Then again, either way, Catcher in the Rye was a horrendously stupid book, so it's of no loss to the classroom, imo.

/puts on flame retardant suit


Government schools, in the U.S. at least, have been all about this sort of thing since they were founded. It's just taken a long time to eliminate the thinkers from the bookshelves.
 
2012-12-07 09:01:44 PM

gimmechocolate: Omahawg: if you're a teacher drinking beer on fark why haven't you slept with your students yet?

Ex-teacher. I saw the light.

/students too gross to sleep with, honestly.


Can't say as I blame you. thankless job putting up with little punk smartasses like...well...me.

this is what they should make kids read to teach 'em about real life and stuff.

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-12-07 09:02:45 PM

Ishidan: There's a reason your profile says "I get paid to go to school" instead of "I get paid to work", I suppose. However, most people won't and can't be like you. They need to be EMPLOYABLE.

What am I? I'm employed. You?


Well, I don't have to work because I get paid to go to school. And I get paid to go to school because I'm good at what I do. Listening to your sad sack story now, it's no surprise you look down your nose at me and at literature in general. You pretty much have to in order to feel like you're worth anything. You bitter, pathetic man.
 
2012-12-07 09:03:10 PM

Etchy333: There was once this guy that wasted his time in calligraphy class in college. He wasn't even going to the school that was teaching the class, he just wanted to learn a dying art. Can you imagine that, calligraphy? Long story short, he was a miserable failure his whole life and never did anything worthwhile, except be one of the founders of Apple computers.


He didn't build that
 
2012-12-07 09:05:03 PM
To build
 
2012-12-07 09:05:08 PM

James F. Campbell: Well, I don't have to work because I get paid to go to school. And I get paid to go to school because I'm good at what I do.


fark everyone else. You got yours.
 
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