Saturday, June 03, 2006

Shameless Boasting on Saturday Night

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Teach your children well! Feed them on your dreams! The one they pick's the one you'll know by!

Ah, Geezer Annie again. Revealing, day by day, that she can remember where she was when J.F. Kennedy was shot.

(In the interest of clarity: Anne calls her daughters The Heir and The Spare because that was what English queens were supposed to supply in the way of progeny for the Throne.)

Another school year goes into the tank in two weeks. It was a momentous year. Anne's daughter The Spare began that special hell called Middle School. And The Heir, Anne's oldest, undertook "American Literature College Prep," 10th grade.

This is no slouch of a school that The Heir attends. Look at this list of books her class read this year:

1. Huckleberry Finn
2. The Scarlet Letter
3. The Great Gatsby
4. The Color Purple
5. Death of a Salesman
6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
7. The Catcher in the Rye
8. The Old Man and the Sea
9. Reader's Choice 10 Short Stories (Heir chose Flannery O'Connor)

Okay, it's Saturday night, so I'm tossing the humble pie out the window. My daughter The Heir loved 8 out of 9 books on this list. The only one she didn't like was The Catcher in the Rye. Readers, my daughter loved The Scarlet Letter! And she was so thrilled with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest that it's all she talked about for weeks.

And between you and me, does it not take a strong stomach to deal with Flannery O'Connor? The Heir loved her work too.

Hey, it went both ways. The authors loved The Heir too. She's carried a high A average in English all year.

The Heir has a friend named Bam Bam (not his real name). Bam Bam was in her English class. Bam Bam wants to go to Johns Hopkins University to study English.

Bam Bam hated every book on the above list. He said they were boring and meaningless. He was particularly vehement about Cuckoo's Nest, saying that it was "way over the line," and mental hospitals "never work like that." He couldn't find a point to Cuckoo's Nest at all. Nor could he see why Huckleberry Finn is considered such a classic of literature.

This week, having finished their reading list for the year, the students in The Heir's English class have been watching the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire. The Heir has never seen that movie before, and she has watched her some big time movies.

She bounded home the other day frothing at the mouth about how good Streetcar is, did that author write other plays as well? Oh, don't tell her how it ends! She can't wait to see the rest! But ... emmm ... is Blanche mentally ill?

Bam Bam's verdict on Streetcar: utter rot. He prefers CSI and American Idol.

I am totally not making this up.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" have neither the ambition nor the funds to send The Heir to Johns Hopkins University. So we wish Bam Bam the best of luck there, and we hope he enjoys his course of study.



rhondda said...

You may not be able to afford to send her to university, but really, the state of universities these days, they belong to Bam Bam's. Come on, have you read some of those so called academic blogs? It is not the school, but the teacher. I read,(I forget where, oh yes it was Ward Churchill, the disgraced ethnic professor) said that universities were now bootcamps for managers and bureaucrats. My son found that out. He got his degree and refused to go to the ceremony siting what utter bullshit he was taught. Personally, I think colleges are the way to go and I think less likely to kill your daughter's love of literature.You do not discuss literature anymore, you discuss theory at universities and the more abstract you are, the more they think you know what you are talking about. Ever dealt with bureaucrats? I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading these when I was in high school. I didn't like The Catcher in the Rye either and The Scarlet Letter remains a favorite. I adore good literature. I majored in English at university and it only strengthened my love of it.

Sojourner said...

If Bam Bam doesn't like any of those classic books, what does he think literature is? Sad.

I truely think that it doesn't matter (to most) what University you go to. What matters more is what you learn from it and it sounds as if The Heir has a love of learning and will do fine anywhere she goes.

buddy don said...

whut a grate readin list. glad yer dawter lacks to read so much. whut a worl of joy shes but ahed of er.

i bleeve the mane thang that matters in gittin a educayshun is a good stoodent. the skool dont make that much differnts. seems lack yer dawters gut the makins of a goodn.