November 30, 2016

What Is Wrong With People?

This might become a series of posts. I'm sure I have enough to say about what is wrong with people.

This episode of What Is Wrong With People has to do with English classes. High School English classes in particular. My daughter is a Freshman in High School and the books she has had to read this semester are horrendous. She's read The Pearl, The Lord of the Flies and other horrible things I can't remember but I read part of in moral support. My son, who is a Junior, has been assigned Fahrenheit 451 three times. Why?

Some might argue that reading these books is a rite of passage. I think that's a load of horse hooey. You don't get a gold star on your adult card if you read these books. I don't think I am missing out on some major piece of being an adult because I was never assigned Ulysses. There are some books that have informed parts of our culture, and if you haven't read them, you might not get references to them. On the other hand, I totally get references to Ulysses even though I haven't read it.

Some might argue that these books are examples of some writing technique. Okay. But I highly doubt that there aren't books that are more relatable to students that use those same techniques. There are more fantastic books published now for teens and tweens than ever before. Why can't we use those books to teach grammar and writing style?

Okay. Rant over. It's just that I have a lot of interaction with teens and every time one of them tells me what they've been assigned, I think "Ugh!"

What are your thoughts on the subject?