Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 239427 times)

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Thipu1

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #795 on: April 26, 2013, 09:12:58 AM »
A standard text here is Of Mice And Men.  I found it unbearably depressing.

Powerful stuff, though. And it's great to have around when teens come into the library desperately looking for one of the classics on their reading list, because it's short enough that they think it'll be a cakewalk. Then they actually read it.

It is powerful but I never liked it until, in the 1970s, there was a Broadway version in which James Earl Jones played Lennie.  Then, I finally got it. 

Kariachi

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #796 on: April 26, 2013, 10:20:33 AM »
I just remembered something because of the mentions of assigned books.  I loved to read and there were even some assigned books I enjoyed.  But my biggest pet peeve was "Do NOT read past chapter 8!!"

Now okay, I do get that they have their reasons, wanting the students to predict what will happen then find out what actually happened but I hated it as a kid. I'd have to force myself to put the book down, and would have a hard time not picking it back up later.

My senior high school English teacher handled that perfectly, at least for me. He'd assign the book, tell us how far to read, and then leave us to our own devices for the rest of the class. The next class, he'd have questions on the board about the section we were supposed to read. You answered the questions, handed in your paper, then read that day's section.

It was great, the first and I'd ever had to think about the meaning and depth of an assigned book, rather than having it explained and then regurgitating.

It also meant that you could read at your own pace*. As long as you answered the questions each morning it didn't matter. I used to finish the book within a few classes, and then would answer the questions each morning and immediately grab a pass to go spend class in the library.


*It was like, 'you have 1.5 hours to read chapters 1 through 4' and it was never big books, so...
"Heh. Forgive our manners, little creature — that we may well kill and eat you is no excuse for rudeness."

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #797 on: April 26, 2013, 10:32:36 AM »
I would agree that often teachers (or to be more accurate, the curricula they work under) seem to focus on things which are NOT particularly interesting to teens. I remember that when our class did Henry IV  Part I, we seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how the rebels would have divided up England, rather than anything more literary.

And sometimes I guess they're afraid to go deeper. I remember one inspired choice for assigned reading was the novel Shane. However, while everyone else was focusing on the gunfights, I was going "Wait - there's something - odd - going on between the three adults. What is this?" And, of course, the teacher never touched that at all.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

BabyMama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #798 on: April 26, 2013, 10:40:15 AM »
My DH comes from a family of non-readers. He confessed to me early on that he had never read an entire book until 4th or 5th grade, which was completely baffling to me. I introduced him to books more to his taste and now he reads all the time. The incredibly confusing/sad thing is that...his mom is a teacher. I just...yeah.

My SIL likes to brag how much her kids like to read--but I've never seen a single book in their house. I give their kids books every Christmas (I work for a publishing company) and they're all high-interest, low reading level books (like books on monster trucks or XGames, designed to get kids interested in reading.) I always give them lower-level books than the grade they're in (for example, a book designed for K-2 for the 9 year old) and they all have trouble reading the text. It's really sad.

Ahh, the reading ahead. That's one thing I don't miss about assigned reading! I always hated when the test questions were like, "What were the major themes between Chapters 1 and 3?" or "Name one significant event that happened in Chapter 6." I don't remember where things specifically fall in the book, I read them weeks ago!!

Calistoga

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #799 on: April 26, 2013, 10:51:59 AM »
My high school had this god awful thing called a meta cognative log. You got to read your own book for 15 minutes, then you had to write about what you were thinking while you were reading. It completely ruined it for me because darn it, I was thinking about what was happening in the book.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #800 on: April 26, 2013, 11:42:37 AM »
I had a really pompous English teacher in high school.  Every other teacher I've ever had, when we read a Shakespeare play, would assign parts and let us read.  My middle school put on a production of MacBeth.  But this guy said "We're not going to be reading it because you're not sophisticated enough to understand what the Bard is saying."

Yeah he wasn't too popular. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

MerryCat

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #801 on: April 26, 2013, 11:50:14 AM »
I had a really pompous English teacher in high school.  Every other teacher I've ever had, when we read a Shakespeare play, would assign parts and let us read.  My middle school put on a production of MacBeth.  But this guy said "We're not going to be reading it because you're not sophisticated enough to understand what the Bard is saying."

Yeah he wasn't too popular.

That's especially galling because Shakespeare, when you really get down to it, is mostly puns and double entendres.

Wel, okay, I'm being facetious there, obviously. But the best bits are puns and double entendres. And the sex, violence, scandals and melodrama. Because, at the end of the day, putting out art that will endure the ages is nice but putting bums in seats is what pays the bills.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #802 on: April 26, 2013, 11:58:19 AM »
And what kind of makes me laugh is thinking about the time I was in high school.  I mean really, with the dysfunction, melodrama, sex, violence, scandals, with puns and double entendres on the side it was like 90210 with a side of The Simpsons.

But in Olde English. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #803 on: April 26, 2013, 12:38:14 PM »
I had a really pompous English teacher in high school.  Every other teacher I've ever had, when we read a Shakespeare play, would assign parts and let us read.  My middle school put on a production of MacBeth.  But this guy said "We're not going to be reading it because you're not sophisticated enough to understand what the Bard is saying."

Yeah he wasn't too popular.

Perhaps he was trying reverse psychology? "No, you can't read Shakespeare - you're not ready for it. Put that paperback of Lear down right now. Right now, I say! That's for grownups, and you can't have it!"
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #804 on: April 26, 2013, 12:44:30 PM »
I had a really pompous English teacher in high school.  Every other teacher I've ever had, when we read a Shakespeare play, would assign parts and let us read.  My middle school put on a production of MacBeth.  But this guy said "We're not going to be reading it because you're not sophisticated enough to understand what the Bard is saying."

Yeah he wasn't too popular.

Perhaps he was trying reverse psychology? "No, you can't read Shakespeare - you're not ready for it. Put that paperback of Lear down right now. Right now, I say! That's for grownups, and you can't have it!"

No, he really was arrogant.  It wasn't just this.  He also wouldn't give out a grade higher than a C no matter how hard you worked for an A and how much effort you put into it.  He actually told my parents this when they had a conference with him. "That's just how I grade".  He justified it by saying "They need to be ready for college anyway, I grade like a college professor!"

Pif, I got A's and B's in English courses in college without having to try nearly as hard as in his class. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

OSUJillyBean

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #805 on: April 26, 2013, 02:51:25 PM »
I am a big reader and cannot fall asleep without reading at least a chapter of whatever I'm working through.  I'm currently one my 2nd or 3rd read-through of A Song of Fire and Ice.  The first time through, I read every word, even the boring minor characters.  (Seriously - whole chapters of Davros the Onion Knight?  Snooze!)  On later read-throughs, I just read my favorite characters (Sansa, Tyrion, and Jon Snow).  I am nearly done with book 4 and bought book 5.  And then DH found it and won't give it back.  Bonus points: he reads so much more slowly than I do so it'll be awhile before I get to read book 5.  /sigh

My HS got away from assigned reading in English classes.  The last two years we just did essay-writing to help our standardized test scores.  9th and 10th grade was Lord of the Flies, which I had no clue about.  I to this day, cannot figure out major plot points of stories like that unless I read the CliffNotes.  We also did Gatsby, Beowulf (totally confused until the movie came out) and a few others but at that age I had no idea what a flapper girl was.  In my head, it was a hippie who burned her bra and therefore her breasts began to sag and flap!   :o ;D ;D   Yes it was ridiculous, not to mention confusing, but I didn't want to be the only kid to go "What the eHell is going on here?!" 

I tried about two chapters of Stephen King's Dark Tower.  Some guy was looking for a cyborg in the desert or something and was camping.  Never piqued my interest so I never got any further than that.

As a kid I learned to love reading thanks to our second grade teacher who read The Boxcar Children to us daily for a short period (maybe 20 minutes a day?).  It was taking too long for my impatient child-brain so the next time we were at the local library, I had my Dad check out several other Boxcar books and voila - instant lifetime reading obsession!   8)

Reika

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #806 on: April 26, 2013, 03:16:48 PM »
I recently ran into another one, and someone may have mentioned this, but I didn't remember it.

When an author is writing from a first person point of view, I wish they'd avoid a lot of I statements. Such as "I did" xyz action, or "I saw", etc. There's other ways to write from that viewpoint.

And I'm aware of the irony of my first sentence. ;)

artk2002

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #807 on: April 26, 2013, 04:24:51 PM »
And what kind of makes me laugh is thinking about the time I was in high school.  I mean really, with the dysfunction, melodrama, sex, violence, scandals, with puns and double entendres on the side it was like 90210 with a side of The Simpsons.

But in Olde English.

You read Old English in HS? That's pretty tough stuff. Unless you mean Shakespearean English which is (early) Modern English. The left side of this page is Old English (Beowulf to be specific.)

Quote
Hwæt! Wé Gárdena      in géardagum
þéodcyninga      þrym gefrúnon·    
hú ðá æþelingas      ellen fremedon.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

artk2002

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #808 on: April 26, 2013, 04:25:48 PM »
I recently ran into another one, and someone may have mentioned this, but I didn't remember it.

When an author is writing from a first person point of view, I wish they'd avoid a lot of I statements. Such as "I did" xyz action, or "I saw", etc. There's other ways to write from that viewpoint.

And I'm aware of the irony of my first sentence. ;)

There's a dictum in screenwriting that really applies to any kind of writing: "Show, don't tell"
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #809 on: April 26, 2013, 04:50:52 PM »
And what kind of makes me laugh is thinking about the time I was in high school.  I mean really, with the dysfunction, melodrama, sex, violence, scandals, with puns and double entendres on the side it was like 90210 with a side of The Simpsons.

But in Olde English.

You read Old English in HS? That's pretty tough stuff. Unless you mean Shakespearean English which is (early) Modern English. The left side of this page is Old English (Beowulf to be specific.)

Quote
Hwæt! Wé Gárdena      in géardagum
þéodcyninga      þrym gefrúnon·    
hú ðá æþelingas      ellen fremedon.

Well, Shakespearean English is what I meant.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata