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Old 01-02-2013, 04:05 AM
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Helo Helo is offline
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Default 4 Ways High School Makes You Hate Reading

Normally I dont send on stuff I read, especially Cracked. They're funny and all but any good information is usually drowned out by the bad.

From someone who had to read Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye, and developed a life-long hatred of Shakespeare, I feel like this one is an exception.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-ways-h...ser4=companion


And I do feel that high school, and school in general, makes reading into something that the majority of people just dont want to do on any serious basis. It turns it into a chore, a grind that must be completed in order to advance with no thought given to the actual enjoyability of the text.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helo View Post
From someone who . . . developed a life-long hatred of Shakespeare . . .
Omigosh, I love Shakespeare! My mother had two volumes, all the works, and I read them all voluntarily before I ever got to high school. When I was in grammar school, my sis and I both looked forward to the reading contests our town library held, where we would receive a certificate if you read all the books on the list over the summer.

I don't even recall most of what we were required to read when I was in high school - except for The Canterbury Tales and Beowulf. But I loved to read back then, because it was such a great escape, so I never felt that reading was a chore. If I didn't want to read something they wanted me to, I didn't - it didn't matter to me what they told me to do or what my grades were. I remember getting an A on a paper about a book I hadn't read. I just paged through it, picked up a few phrases here and there, and wrote the essay. I was always smart, so that was easy. I eventually quit high school, but only because I wanted to work and be independent as soon as possible.

Now, if you ask me what I felt about math and science... that's a different story. Yuck!
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Last edited by nycindie; 01-02-2013 at 04:29 AM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:29 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Love cracked, love reading, totally agree with that article.

And I like math and science and have been a high school math teacher for over 6 years, so I'm WELL aware of what teachers can do to help or hinder a student's fondness for a particular subject.

My thing about book reading (as well as tv and movies) is that it's my escape time. I don't want heavy. I'm not looking to learn anything mind blowing. And I DON'T want to analyze anything. That what high school and college taught me to hate: guessing about what the author intended. Ask 'em yourself. If they're dead? Oh well, guess you're just stuck with finding out what I got out of it, cause I don't care to guess at intentions!
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:16 PM
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Somegeezer Somegeezer is offline
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Quote:
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guessing about what the author intended. Ask 'em yourself. If they're dead? Oh well, guess you're just stuck with finding out what I got out of it, cause I don't care to guess at intentions!
You may be interested in looking up "Death Of The Author".
For a basic description, though, it states that the meaning within a work is not defined by the creator, but by the one experiencing it. Or "it means whatever the fuck you think it means".

Also goes to Shroedinger's bit - "He tended to over-analyse books and disagree with the "assigned interpretation.""

Not that I feel anything towards the guy. I was annoyed by those same people in school. Who would just take over. I think they are part of the problem, taking away a lot of that enjoyment of reading at high school ages. I'm not one for fictional works myself, because I was just so put off by a lot of it through time.

I'd also like to say that ""assigned interpretation."" as you say... I also hated that. Not just because of the death of the author stuff, which is not something I would have thought about back then. But because at the time, I felt like a lot of what my English teachers were telling me it meant, was just over the top.

Not from any literal piece, but as an example: If there is a sentence "she sits and milks her cow", to me, that says there is a woman milking a cow, and not someone contemplating suicide, because of the widespread poverty of the era, leading to a major plot point a few chapters later.

Of course, it "did" mean that, because "that is exactly what the author said it means".

/rant
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:29 AM
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Oh, I fully agree with you that the "assigned interpretation" approach is stupid. Everyone brings their own experiences with them when they read a book. Everyone has different frames of reference.

The teachers' problem is that they're stuck between that reality and the curriculum, which says they have to teach _these_ moral lessons in English class, and do it with _these_ books. So they have to fit a pre-determined interpretation into the books, whether or not they even agree with it themselves.

I think my problem with that guy wasn't that he disagreed with the "assigned interpretation." He would say "that interpretation is WRONG," as though there is One True Interpretation, and He had found It. That's why he would argue with the teacher. If he would have just said "I disagree for _these_ reasons" then it would have been fine. But he wasted the entire class time trying to convince everyone he was right and she was wrong, which is just arrogant and stupid.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Omigosh, I love Shakespeare! My mother had two volumes, all the works, and I read them all voluntarily before I ever got to high school. When I was in grammar school, my sis and I both looked forward to the reading contests our town library held, where we would receive a certificate if you read all the books on the list over the summer.
I'm glad someone enjoys him. After having Romeo and Juliet read to us in Ye Olde Timey script with the teacher pausing every two words to explain the modern equivalent to the Ye Olde Timey word she had just read should be put in the fucking Geneva Convention under "crimes against humanity." I was never so thankful to end up taking a Sci-Fi class for my senior year of high school rather than ANOTHER European Lit class.

Quote:
I don't even recall most of what we were required to read when I was in high school - except for The Canterbury Tales and Beowulf.
And see that's part of the problem; I would probably have ended up hating Beowulf had we read it.

We read Antigone, which is actually a pretty awesome play, but we ended up hurling it up on the table and dissecting it unto death to the point where I just didnt want to even read the title anymore. Twenty plot maps and chapter summaries later you're so sick of the characters and the story you never want to pick it up again. And that was a story I LIKED. I was ready to start painting the walls with my own blood when we got to the obnoxious little twerp in Catcher in the Rye.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:20 PM
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I also loved (love) reading so much, I'd always finish the required reading book a few days after it was assigned, when we were only supposed to read a chapter or 2 a week. LOL. By the time the class was done reading it, I'd already read another 5 or 6 books of my own choosing, and be all, what was that book about again?

I've been rereading "classics" this fall... Pride and Prejudice, Catcher in the Rye, A Moveable Feast, Through the Looking Glass. One appreciates the nuances more as an adult, without dissecting the book to death.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:21 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Yes, I had a problem with reading ahead too! Very difficult to remember what you shouldn't yet know about when you're being asked what characters are doing in this or that chapter or what is being foreshadowed.

I liked Much Ado About Nothing (still do), but we did it during Senior Honors English and got to act it out, rewrite the insults, that sort of thing, so our teacher made it fun instead of boring.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:26 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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I don't think it's just reading that that sort of thing happens to. Writing enjoyment can be equally as damaged - especially as writing is very often used as a punishment during detentions.

Noam Chomsky has some good stuff to say about education in here. I've always rather liked what he has to say on the subject.

http://www.newleftproject.org/index....ng_and_freedom
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:46 PM
Phlox Phlox is offline
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Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land was on my required reading list for high school.
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