atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4710: Well, they're not wrong

High school literature classes always consist of really depressing stories. All through junior and senior high I read a bunch of depressing crap for school, things like My Antonia and Killing Mr. Griffin and a host of others. Contrast all that horseshit with promethian SF--stuff from Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, and Niven--which was what I read for pleasure.

I was glad I didn't have to read much Steinbeck or Hemingway or-or-or when I was in high school. And is it any wonder we have trouble getting kids to read when all we push on them is depressing crap that doesn't seem to have any point to it?

I do agree with Ms. Alkon's thesis about helicopter parents trying to protect their special snowflakes from sad stories--it's stupid--but if the helicopter parents were at all good parents they would have long since taught their kids to read and would have on hand a large supply of entertaining books and encouraged them to learn to enjoy reading.

Kids being kids, they want to have fun; if you want them to read, you should have fun stories on hand. You don't need to hit them over the head with Proust and Steinbeck and Chaucer and so on; give them something interesting and exciting to read, and if they get interested in the so-called "greats" then they can read those stories, and select classes in school which will expose them to critical technique. If they don't get interested in that stuff, it's no one's loss because they already read a lot anyway.

Whether kids read is a hell of a lot more important than what they read, damn it.

* * *

Last night I had to turn the AC on. It was warm in the bunker and ventilating with outside air simply was not cooling it enough for us to sleep, so I closed the windows and switched on AC. I only had to run it for a couple of hours (if that) to get the temperature and humidity into a comfortable range, but the place remains closed today and probably will until later tonight.

I have chores I need to get after, and one of them involves getting fuel for the lawn machines. Meanwhile there's heavy weather building out by Peoria, and it looks like it's heading this way quickly enough that I may not get much else done besides the grass.

But if I don't get that grass cut today, it's going to need a herd of goats before I again have time to get at it.

This year has been, so far, an amazingly busy one. It seems like I never have time to relax any more, no time just to sit and do nothing; if I'm not at work, then I'm doing chores, or running errands, or a host of other things.

Well, it could be worse.

In any case, the grass--so, off I go.

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