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Old 01-02-2013, 04:05 AM
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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 01-02-2013, 06:33 AM
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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 01-04-2013, 08:18 AM
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There are certainly some bad teachers who put a quick end to the curiosity in their student base. I had a teacher in middle school literally pull me aside and inform me that (no joke) I was not allowed to READ anymore because the books I wanted to read (taken from the school library, at that) were "unfit and ungodly". But regardless of those regrettable few teachers, I think most of it is curriculum. I lived with an English teacher for a while who would routinely come home from work shouting about the god-damned-awful-shit-for-brains-no-talent-hack-book he had to teach. It is a shame that more caring, intelligent teachers don't get to teach what they actually know and love.

Oddly, despite being a misfit, anarcho-punk, auto-didactic little prick, I had a great experience in high school. My english/creative writing teacher gave me some of the best advice, experience, and education I'll likely ever have, and he was very accepting of whatever we threw his way. I once turned in a story about a person trying to commit suicide but failing because of his severe OCD - which at the time I thought was riotously funny - and he gave me an A and told me to never, ever bring it back into the school or he'd have to red flag me. I don't know so many teachers who would be that open and open-minded - and we're still friends to this day. (It also reminds me of a time when I wrote on a national standardized test about committing insurance fraud by burning down the school to buy new books and computers, except that one actually landed me in the principal's office to be searched for - exact phrase - "kerosene and grenades"...but that's a bit different)

What would you all say is the worst book you had to read in high school? Or best? Or most life-altering situation in terms of reading and writing?
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyena View Post
What would you all say is the worst book you had to read in high school? Or best? Or most life-altering situation in terms of reading and writing?
Catcher in the Rye would have to be the worst just for being bad. Holden is a whiny little bastard who complains about everything and that's basically the entire book. I want to just grab him by the scruff of the neck and throw him into Palestine or Syria.

I ended up hating Shakespeare but I don't necessarily think his work was bad in and of itself, just mediocre.

I did enjoy Ender's Game but I did that despite the class. Our teacher was extremely strange and during class one day when we were talking about the book and had gotten to a scene where the boys all run to the shower and the text mentions them being naked, she says, dead serious with no pauses, "He talks about naked boys a lot, I think its because he's Mormon, anyways..."

We were just kinda sitting there staring at her completely bewildered. We looked around at each other like "Did that really just happen?"

Because she insisted we spend so much time EXAMINING the book and plot elements we actually didnt finish the book in class but I got into it so I just read the whole thing on my spare time.

Honestly, I'd toss a copy of Days of Love Nights of War on every student's desk and give them time in class to read it. There's a reason I'd never be a teacher XD
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:04 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Lord of the Flies was probably the worst for me, followed by Red Badge of Courage. Then Of Mice and Men, then Moby Dick. I don't think the lessons I learned from those books were anything like what my teachers were expecting.

Old Man and the Sea was okay. So was Summer of my German Soldier.

I didn't have to read Catcher in the Rye or the Great Gastby, so I still haven't. I did read Animal Farm on my own, but not 1984, and I tried Fahrenheit 451 but only got a chapter or two in before I stopped.

LOVE Ender's Game, but that was never a class book. I read that about the same time I got introduced to Heinlein and Neil Gaiman.
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