Books you had to read for school that you could not stand

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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby modularblues » Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:05 am UTC

The Ancient Child by N. Scott Momaday. That review nicely verbalizes what I vaguely felt when I was reading it during the summer after 8th grade. It has soft-core porn, goodness. But that's minor. Most of all, the symbolism was rather difficult for us to get, if at all. And the intended poetics felt awkward and overkill. I wonder whose idea that was to put this book as required on our list...
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Anachrome » Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:02 am UTC

Psycho Goose wrote:
Nullifidian wrote:He was one of the writers I read, along with Jules Verne, Daniel Defoe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Allen Poe, Jack London, Arthur Conan Doyle, etc. Nobody told me I shouldn't be reading these authors until I got to second grade and had a teacher so freaked out by my reading works that were not "age-appropriate" that she even ripped White Fang straight out of my hands.
Goddamn it, some teachers just piss me off. Punishing you for being a good reader--what the hell. Am I the only one who had this reaction?

Nope; I have the same feelings.

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Atomic Toast wrote:Honestly, The Illiad.
From an objective point of view, I can say it is very good, but it's just not an engaging read for me.

In my experience the quality of the translation matters greatly in the enjoyment of Homer's work.

I know in my greek class, we got to read it in the original language, and argue amongst ourselves about the best way for to translate it. We never really got far into though. A shame, really.

One of the things I really hated about high school literature classes in general is that they explain the entire meaning of the book (as defined by a panel of experts who couldn't possible be wrong), and then expect us to write an essay basically regurgitating everything they just explained. I'd much rather be allowed to find my own interpetations/symbolism/etc. for a book that have one be shoved down my throat and induced to vomit.

But I digress; there haven't really been many books I *hated* - I didn't really like the Lord of the Flies (I kinda saw where it was going from the beginning, and the ending felt like a terrible deus ex machina). To Kill a Mockingbird was okay, but I'm really not a fan of growing up stories (and if I recall correctly, it sort of implied that her becoming less of a tomboy and more ladylike was a good thing, which annoyed me a little bit).

Also, I think Romeo and Juliet becomes better if you treat it as a satire of teenagers romanticizing romance instead of a serious tragedy. (Which unfortunately is not mentioned in many English classes).
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby topquark » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:07 am UTC

David Copperfield. It wasn't awful, but it was kind of slow. I felt as though there was a lot of extraneous description and detail that could have been cut out.

Julius Caesar. That was so boring. Even when we went to see it, it was boring, and that's coming from someone who has rolled around on the floor crying with laughter at other Shakespeare performances. It's really not one of his best and I don't know why they picked that one for us to study.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Sonata » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:35 am UTC

I had to read The Chocolate War. It was horrible.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby modularblues » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:46 am UTC

Anachrome wrote:Also, I think Romeo and Juliet becomes better if you treat it as a satire of teenagers romanticizing romance instead of a serious tragedy. (Which unfortunately is not mentioned in many English classes).

Yes! Exactly what I was thinking (during snarky days).
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Tigerrrrr » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:40 pm UTC

Oh, required reading, ever painful thou art. I barely remember why any particular book was so awful; only the awfulness itself burned in my mind.
Sophomore year, high school: The Red Badge of Courage, A Man for All Seasons, "The Bear" by Faulkner. I do remember hating picking through the "sentences" in "The Bear" just trying to connect the clauses and figure out what was going on. Faulkner, get some punctuation so we can figure out what the crap you're even saying.
Junior year, high school: Thoreau.
Most anything from senior AP English Lit: Jane Eyre, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Hamlet, Pride and Prejudice. All the whiny melodrama was made that much worse by the teacher, who also made us watch the movie versions of everything she could (including the full 5-hour P&P miniseries). The book wasn't terrible enough, so then we had to waste six full class days watching the movie?
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby big boss » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:29 am UTC

The Scarlet Letter. Damn Nate and his periodic sentences. Ohh and Pride and Prejudice.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Superisis » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:43 pm UTC

Jane Eyre was sorta meh, same goes for The Scarlett Letter and Lord of the Flies. My hatred is reserved for Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye". It just seemed to arbitrary, too pc in a wannabe non-pc obnoxious way. Bah, no thank you. Thank fully I also got to read a whole lot of amazing books in high school, like The Middaq Alley", Siddhartha, The Dwarf, The Grapes of Wrath, The Tin Drum, etc
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Metaphysician » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:47 pm UTC

The Scarlet Letter and The Red Badge of Courage were both pretty painful reading. Is it odd that my primary reason for hating The Scarlet Letter is that I find the main character's name incredibly annoying? Hester... I hate it so much.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby TheAmazingRando » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:12 am UTC

Tigerrrrr wrote:I do remember hating picking through the "sentences" in "The Bear" just trying to connect the clauses and figure out what was going on. Faulkner, get some punctuation so we can figure out what the crap you're even saying.
I find that Faulkner is a lot easier to understand if you read him out loud, or at least read each word in your head as though it were being spoken. As opposed to reading quickly and silently, where you don't really read one word at a time and so rely a lot more on punctuation and structure.

The only book I remember really disliking was Great Expectations back in my freshman year of high school, not because it was a bad book but because we had to journal while we read it, ask a certain number of questions during every chapter about what would happen next, summarize every chapter, and write profiles on every character. Even beyond the fact that I find Dickens dull, and it's clear he's being paid by the word, I don't think any novel could survive such extensive surface-level analysis.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Jorpho » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:52 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:not because it was a bad book but because we had to journal while we read it, ask a certain number of questions during every chapter about what would happen next, summarize every chapter, and write profiles on every character.
Ugh. Unless the class size was something like 10, I can barely even imagine a teacher willing to read any amount of whatever was turned in.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby TheAmazingRando » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:25 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:Ugh. Unless the class size was something like 10, I can barely even imagine a teacher willing to read any amount of whatever was turned in.
I'm pretty sure she just graded by page length, I got an 8/10 for mine and I probably skipped a quarter of the book. This same teacher would also tell us we were wrong if we had interpretations that weren't in the teacher's guide, and refused to discuss them. I don't think she even read the books she taught.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby miedvied » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:09 pm UTC

I've never seen such a Fail thread in all of the XKCD fora.

Some books are valuable as Literary Art. Some are valuable as sheer fun/enjoyment. When we're lucky, those two overlap. The point of English classes isn't to expose you to Lit Fun, though - that job belongs to your parents. The class is there to teach you to understand and analyze Lit Art, because of the various skills that it requires and which are ultimately very handy. I don't blame people for saying "Math isn't fun," but I don't see the point in attributing that to any particular work of math. "Riemann's theorems are such shit! I just wanted to roll over and die for how boring they were!" Roughly 90% of the whining in here is of the intellectually lazy variety.

The books assigned in HS are generally not analyzed deeply at all. Having tutored HS English, they're usually analyzed fairly shallowly, but far deeper than the average HS student wants to take it (that is, deeper than a literal reading of the plot with the occasional capital-S SYMBOL). The books assigned are those that the entire multigenerational community of lit geeks have found to be readily accessible and full of ideas ready for analysis. Some teachers ruin this, sure; sadly HS teachers are rarely the cream of the uni's graduating crop. However, a teacher's failed approach isn't the same as a failure in the source material.

Unrelatable characters? The idea of literature which focuses on a particular character, trying to simulate an entire complex person, is barely a century old. It's cutting-edge stuff, and insofar as it has nothing to do with more or less all lit art in human history it does tend to get under-represented in literature courses. Traditionally the purpose of the story was to tell the story - not to remove coincidences, or fully emulate personhood, or whatever. In terms of RPGs, think narrativist, not simulationist. Granted, some of this was just clumsiness in the form: art evolves. I don't know of anyone moaning about the lascaux cave paintings not being sufficiently realistic. You analyze the art in context.

As to not liking the setting, well, that's the problem with lit taught independently of the other social sciences. The purpose of the smattering of books in the average HS curriculum is to give students a vague idea of what life was actually like during important parts of History. In my HS lit courses were actually aligned with other social sciences so you'd be reading Animal Farm while studying the Cold War, and the like. It may or may not make the material more "entertaining", but it's an intellectual exercise, not entertainment.

Seriously, I feel like I went through a thread where people sat through a Film Art course and then bitched that it's not fun when characters don't run away from exploding buildings. You're analyzing the text in the wrong context. This is the Film Art class; going to the movies with your buddies happens after school.

---

I wonder if this is what happens with people who enjoy reading. Early school years pleasure reading is essentially the same skill as school reading. You get used to substituting one for the other, and then when the two part ways, you continue to assess school reading through the lens of pleasure reading?
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Zarq » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:36 pm UTC

miedvied wrote:Seriously, I feel like I went through a thread where people sat through a Film Art course and then bitched that it's not fun when characters don't run away from exploding buildings.


With that difference that Film Art courses are mostly not compulsory and people go to those because they are interested in it.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby podbaydoor » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:42 pm UTC

It's possible to appreciate the context, influence, and impact of a book and still feel like you're pulling teeth to make it through every paragraph while you're reading it.

The thread is titled "Books you had to read for school that you could not stand", not "Present these books in an academic treatment and provide citations for it." The thread is about personal feelings and reactions, it's right there in the title.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Jorpho » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:19 am UTC

miedvied wrote:The books assigned are those that the entire multigenerational community of lit geeks have found to be readily accessible and full of ideas ready for analysis.
The purpose of the smattering of books in the average HS curriculum is to give students a vague idea of what life was actually like during important parts of History.
You appear to be contradicting yourself.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby miedvied » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:51 am UTC

Zarq wrote:
miedvied wrote:Seriously, I feel like I went through a thread where people sat through a Film Art course and then bitched that it's not fun when characters don't run away from exploding buildings.


With that difference that Film Art courses are mostly not compulsory and people go to those because they are interested in it.


I'm not sure that actually changes anything. Your participation in all aspects of school pre-uni are compulsory, but I suspect that a lot fewer people would be making a similar thread re. maths or history. No one expects to be entertained in those classes, just educated.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby miedvied » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:56 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
miedvied wrote:The books assigned are those that the entire multigenerational community of lit geeks have found to be readily accessible and full of ideas ready for analysis.
The purpose of the smattering of books in the average HS curriculum is to give students a vague idea of what life was actually like during important parts of History.
You appear to be contradicting yourself.


If I am, I do not see it. Lit Geeks choose books that are useful for Lit Analysis. A subset of those books are relevant to other aspects of the HS curriculum, which are the books I most often see being assigned (i.e., a course focused on American Lit 18th-20th C alongside an American History course). I'm picturing a venn diagram here: set A being books that are "readily accessible and full of ideas ready for analysis", set B being "Books that provide information relevant to other aspects of the HS curricula," with books chosen for HS lit classes generally falling in the intersection.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby miedvied » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:18 am UTC

podbaydoor wrote:It's possible to appreciate the context, influence, and impact of a book and still feel like you're pulling teeth to make it through every paragraph while you're reading it.

The thread is titled "Books you had to read for school that you could not stand", not "Present these books in an academic treatment and provide citations for it." The thread is about personal feelings and reactions, it's right there in the title.


If they weren't opinions, there'd be nothing to argue about. Arguments about facts are lot more binary.

I've got no bones to pick with folks that got truly crummy books or, far more often, a truly crummy treatment of a decent book (ffs, whose teacher waited till 11th grade for The Pearl? That's a book for introducing 6th graders to basic lit analysis). But most of the comments weren't "appreciat[ing] the context, influence, and impact and still feel...".

It still feels as though this is holding up lit to an entirely separate standard, based on a misconception that it's supposed to be entertainment rather than scholastics. I can't imagine (other than to spite me after reading this) someone starting threads about which Calculus equations they couldn't stand, or which atomic element they detest most. Those things are perceived to be work, and if you enjoy them that's a bonus, but you wouldn't even think to measure your chemistry class on "entertainment value." Only in Lit do we discuss our "personal feelings" about the material, despite our feelings being as irrelevant to a properly designed Lit class as they are to a proper math class.

It only strikes me now that math books and chem books are just as much books as anything else, and fall under the topic of the thread, but even so: it didn't cross anyone's mind to criticize a horrendous math book.

I hated my sequential math book. It didn't have a single goddamn illustration, not a single solved problem, and the text looked like it was the xerox descendant of a type-written book four decades old. It had no real exposition, and was basically just a list of theorems and properties and the like. It was useless for anything but as a source of homework problems. It's still noticeable how many of my upper-level maths books resemble it, whereas my Calc book - I guess 'cause it's such a popular course req. - was edited to a high shine, with graphics and explanations and problems that gave the impression someone actually meant students to learn from it.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby sbarr » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:20 pm UTC

miedvied wrote:Only in Lit do we discuss our "personal feelings" about the material, despite our feelings being as irrelevant to a properly designed Lit class as they are to a proper math class.


So we're supposed to be reading classic works of fiction, Literary Art, and not supposed to feel anything about it? Well in that case I'd have to agree with your point, how dare people criticize these books for not being entertaining when the people who wrote them clearly meant no enjoyment to come from them, and instead hoped they could be used solely by students learning about literary analysis, and people who enjoy that, you know, like math text books.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Jorpho » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:38 pm UTC

miedvied wrote:It only strikes me now that math books and chem books are just as much books as anything else, and fall under the topic of the thread, but even so: it didn't cross anyone's mind to criticize a horrendous math book.
The public at large would generally have no incentive to look at a horrendous math book, or any math book used in a general high school course. Nor is the "entire multigenerational community of [math or chemistry] geeks" particularly focused on any particular decades-old math or chemistry book. (Maybe the Feynman lectures on Physics?)
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby dhokarena56 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:37 am UTC

Back on topic: To the Lighthouse. And then, we had a choice of summer reading books, and I tried Mrs. Dalloway to give Woolf a second chance, but hated it and switched to Fences. I detest Woolf with a passion- though I loved the course we read Lighthouse in, apart from that- I was introduced to Proust, Joyce and (especially) Eliot. Prufrock was my emotional crutch midway through junior year. That was a horrible time for me.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby rrwoods » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:37 am UTC

miedvied wrote:Your participation in all aspects of school pre-uni are compulsory

Speak for yourself? About half my classes towards the end of high school were elective.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby raike » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:22 am UTC

"Flowers for Algernon", "Great Expectations", and "Where the Red Fern Grows". For reasons that I cannot recall, I found myself unable to concentrate on the text, take it in, and finish it, while reading these works. I guess that I just didn't like them...
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby cphite » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:23 pm UTC

Hated:
The Great Gatsby
Great Expectations
The Good Earth
The Catcher In The Rye
Animal Farm

Liked:
Fahrenheit 451
Frankenstein
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Kisama » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:22 am UTC

I really wanted to contribute my list of hated books from school, but I can't actually remember disliking any of them *that* much. In those days I suppose I was young, with all the time in the world available to me, so I was happy to read pretty much anything. Now my time is a precious resource to be carefully allocated, and I will stop reading a sub-standard book, or stop playing a lackluster game, or stop watching a rubbish movie.

Not that I remember particularly liking anything we were made to read in school either...

I think Romeo and Juliet comes to mind as the worst, Othello as the best, and everything else spread somewhere between. Not that I can really remember much of what made up the rest - I read so much more on my own time than at school.

Sonata wrote:I had to read The Chocolate War. It was horrible.
Seconded! I didn't have to read it in school though - someone gave it to me as a gift I think.

I didn't have to read Catcher in the Rye but a teacher bribed me with coke + a burger, and it looked short enough... It was pretty meh.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Talk » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:07 am UTC

The Awakening by Kate Chopin for reasons that are now kind of embarrassing and still annoying. I was an insufferably judgmental wannabe Christian at the time and thought the protagonist wasn't so much a fully formed, compelling character as a dully rebellious lady. I got a reputation as a pontificating misogynist in my class while everyone else was just playing the game and concerned about their grades. I overheard several of them complaining about the book after class even though one of them actually accused me to my face of "thinking women are just for making babies."
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Jorpho » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:31 pm UTC

Kisama wrote:
Sonata wrote:I had to read The Chocolate War. It was horrible.
Seconded! I didn't have to read it in school though - someone gave it to me as a gift I think.
Heh. I somehow ended up with Corimer's "Fade" as a prize, and it was quite possibly the most violent and most lewd book I had ever come across at the time.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby NecklaceOfShadow » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:37 pm UTC

The Choephoroi (Libation Bearers) and Eumenides, the second and third books of the Oresteia.

I know, I know, the overall theme of the Oresteia is to show how society has evolved from destructive blood feuds to a standard of judicial 'fairness.' I know, I know, it's a really important metaphor with regards to the intellectual progression of humanity.

Still, Clytemnestra was such a badass in Agamemnon. She masterminded the plot to debase and then kill her "husband"; she yanks Aegisthus, her lover and "the new king" on a leash; she takes control of her femininity and makes it into a force to be reckoned with, subverting Agamemnon, Aegisthus, the chorus, and the palace watchman's dearly beloved masculine power; she holds a nuanced view of the curse on Atreus's household --- she hopes, on the one hand, that killing Agamemnon to avenge her sacrificed daughter, Iphigenia, will satisfy the blood curse, but she also accepts that, if that doesn't satisfy the bloodline's demons, she will die in turn at the hands of another...

And then they nerf her completely! They turn her into a justified, panicked, revenge-obsessed pariah for the sake of having Big Bad Orestes steal the show in the last two books. Fucking HELL, the one woman I could consider an ancient greek Feminist Badass was replaced with a shitty stunt double who couldn't even get her lines straight.

I swear, if I ever meet Aeschylus, I will give him a piece of my mind...
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby sdavidf » Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:38 am UTC

My sophomore year of high school was a disgusting nightmare of poor reading. Frankly, I blame the instructor, who, freshly promoted from being a middle school drama teacher, didn't pick the most interesting reading (read: taught horrible slop).

Semester One:
Tuesdays with Morrie and The Last Lecture. Books which one would give to a twelve-year-old or a middle-aged divorcee. These books weren't so much "taught" as "foisted upon a class of children who just decided to drone on about their emotional reactions, while I was compelled to participate in tedious group work."
Luckily, after that, the student teacher came, and we started doing a relatively awesome research project.

Semester Two:
At this point, I became thoroughly convinced that my teacher was simply picking from the KMart paperback section for her curriculum, because she chose disease thriller The Hot Zone. Normally, this book is met with anticipation and interest at my old school, but, evidently, something about it was lost on me. It felt dry when it shouldn't have been, and excessively graphic when it needn't have been. The way it was taught was even worse, with students being sorted into groups resembling (very tenuously) organizations featured in the novel, for the purpose of engaging in busy work disguised as immersion activities.

In essence, I severely envy my friends who had other teachers, who weren't subjected to the tortures of this reading list. Thank goodness the next two years weren't this tedious.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby IcedT » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:17 pm UTC

The only book I remember reading for school that I was even ambivalent towards was A Midsummer Night's dream, and there were sections of Dumas or Dickens novels that were just a drag (which is what you'd expect from a huge, serial novel). But all in all I haven't met many books I didn't like.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:24 am UTC

I remember reading some books I hated back in 5th grade that (presumably) vaguely-related to the history curriculum. I don't really remember any titles. Also, Shakespeare is really boring to read unless you are into stage directions or know how to find the hidden puns and fart jokes. Then again, Shakespeare didn't intend for his plays to be read, so…
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Jorpho » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:49 am UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:I remember reading some books I hated back in 5th grade that (presumably) vaguely-related to the history curriculum. I don't really remember any titles.
Geoffrey Trease, perhaps? He was pretty good, as I recall.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby serutan » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:49 am UTC

Books I detested:

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Too long ago to remember the details, but the memory of awfulness remains.

Great Expectations. This might be on the teacher (who was really awful), because I enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities under
a different teacher.

The Scarlett Letter I found it unreadable. Fortunately, a cousin of mine owned the Norton Critical Edition, and I was able to
crib the analysis in the back to avoid reading the actual novel.

The Shakespeare I found pretty meh - but I agree with the person who said that those plays were not meant to be read.

Along those lines, on a C-SPAN program a few years ago David McCullogh said that in his opinion it was not fair to assign 18th and early 19th century novels to high schoolers, as they were written for adults, and could not be properly appreciated by teenagers.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:48 am UTC

serutan wrote:The Shakespeare I found pretty meh - but I agree with the person who said that those plays were not meant to be read.


This really goes for any playscript. It's hard to really get the feel of the play when you're reading the script out of context in a Literature book, or if the teacher hands out copies, bound like any script would have been bound for any play or movie. Plays, whether by Shakespeare or others, are best to see performed live on stage, but if that's not doable, a film adaptation, as long as said film stuck to the original setting and script, and is not a remake or reworking. You can show the remake or reworking after the students have seen the original, and maybe give them an assignment where they compare and contrast the reworking or remake to the original.

serutan wrote:Along those lines, on a C-SPAN program a few years ago David McCullogh said that in his opinion it was not fair to assign 18th and early 19th century novels to high schoolers, as they were written for adults, and could not be properly appreciated by teenagers.


True, but without those classics, you wouldn't have the more modern classics, the ones released in the late 19th or early 20th centuries, or more modern books, like the Harry Potter series, Hunger Games trilogy, 50 Shades of Gray, or other popular series or books. Authors tend to take inspiration from those before them. There are elements in the Harry Potter series that refer back to mythology and folklore. I wouldn't be surprised if someone found similarities to Shakespeare in that series, or some other book or series of books.

I think the problem in general when it comes to assigning books or other forms of literature to read is that students find they can't relate to it. This is a story about two families at war with each other? And the kids are having a relationship? I can't think of anyone like that in my life! But when the student realizes that "Romeo and Juliet" was the inspiration for "West Side Story" and "The Lion King II: Simba's Pride", then they'd probably become more interested in it.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby AvatarIII » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:10 am UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:I think the problem in general when it comes to assigning books or other forms of literature to read is that students find they can't relate to it. This is a story about two families at war with each other? And the kids are having a relationship? I can't think of anyone like that in my life! But when the student realizes that "Romeo and Juliet" was the inspiration for "West Side Story" and "The Lion King II: Simba's Pride", then they'd probably become more interested in it.


Might as well just teach kids about tropes, what they are, where they originated, and how to look for them. do you need to have read Romeo and Juliet to know that it's about a couple who come from 2 rival families, and they eventually commit suicide? no not really.
to be honest Romeo and Juliet is a rubbish piece of Shakespeare to teach to kids, it's so unsubtle, Macbeth and The Tempest are both far superior, can you summarise them in as few words as you can R&J? i don't think so, and in my experience and opinion, they much more likely to hold a teenagers attention due to supernatural elements, much more dimensional characters, and subtle plot. and so I feel have a lot more content worthy of being taught. But that's just my opinion.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby freezeblade » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:35 pm UTC

Off the top of my head only one really stands out: the Grapes of Wrath.

I feel that I must preface this by saying that growing up on the central coast of California, we are pretty much required to read all of Steinbeck's novels, usually within the same year. This caused a general burnt-out feeling about his writing, and Grapes of wrath was the last of the books left to trudge through. And read it we did, in less than a week, in class, for about 3 hours a day (not out loud), plus whatever it took to finish it at home. After a few class periods of this was quite over it. I owned my own copy (school was too poor to provide copies so I bought a used paperback copy), and in the middle of class ended up tearing out each page as I read it, crinkling it up and playing trash-can basketball. The teacher looked up after a bit, saw what I was doing, and didn't look back up at me for the rest of the period. I think I ended up dipping half the book in melted chocolate and eating it in the middle of class as well. Swell times.

Edit, look at how well I can type near the end of the workday!
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby Jorpho » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:05 am UTC

freezeblade wrote:And read it we did, in less than a week, in class, for about 3 hours a day (not out loud), plus whatever it took to finish it at home. After a few class periods of this was quite over it.
How is anyone supposed to learn anything from that? It sounds more like indoctrination.

Also, doesn't eating that much paper cause major indigestion?
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby freezeblade » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:01 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:How is anyone supposed to learn anything from that? It sounds more like indoctrination.

Also, doesn't eating that much paper cause major indigestion?


On the first point, I suspose that would be one of the factors causing me to dispise it so much.

Second point, I ate the chocolate off the book, only got a little of the paper, but it was good enough to warrent a "what the flying fuck" look I was hoping for from the teacher. I had just read the Illuminatus trilogy at that time, and was all into operation mindfuck.
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Re: Books you had to read for school that you could not stan

Postby eculc » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:54 pm UTC

Lord of the Flies, Romeo and Juliet. I actually liked most of shakespeare's stuff, but that one was just horrible.

also, going to HS in more recent times (read: HS senior ATM) I read the book Speak by someone I can't remember in freshman year. The major force driving the plot is Trigger-warning worthy, so I'm just gonna leave that alone.
Um, this post feels devoid of content. Good luck?
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