12 April 2011

i said i read it, but i didn't

I have a confession. A secret that would baffle the minds of most of my high school English teachers. Those books you thought I read? The ones I aced those tests on and wrote those amazing papers about? Yeah, those. Well. I never read them. Not most of them anyway. There's something about being told that you have to read something, on schedule set by someone else, just so you can pass a test, that just kind of turned me off to reading books that were assigned. And what do those tests indicate anyway? Your basic levels of reading comprehension? Your ability to remember that gasp! Mr. Darcy's cravat was blue? Honestly, not worth my time. I had better things to do than memorize Dante's circles of hell (actually I didn't). So the majority of my high school literary experience boiled down to one thing: SparkNotes. Okay, two things. SparkNotes and movies. OKAY! Three things. SparkNotes and movies and asking people who had English before me what was on the test.

So now, some larger-than-I-would-like-to-admit number of years after graduation, I'm kind of starting to wonder why all those books were so great. Why do we make generation after generation of high school student read and analyze these books until their brains are numb? Because seriously, if the SparkNotes version of Great Expectations made me want to hold a book burning, I can only imagine the feelings harbored by those who actually wasted time reading it (hey, did I mention I got an A on my paper too?). There must be something special about these books if they're worth making students cry over them.

My mission? Read all those books I "read" but didn't actually read in high school. Maybe learn something about them that wasn't on the test. Figure out why they're so awesome and wonderful, or if English teachers everywhere are just bullies out to make us all insomniacs.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you spark notes,movies or my friends helped out in English class a lot.I reread a few books from high school some books were actually enjoyable.While some not so much :/ it all depends on taste i usually liked the books from high school i just hate reading on a schedule.


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