Monday, June 1, 2009

Singing at School

Today has been such a wonderful and lovely day. Weather-wise that is. Emotionally I'm pretty decent though. No crazed Brian running around trying to find the meaning of life, lol.

I did want to talk about reading though. I know that in this day and age, reading has taken a back-seat to gaming, tv, and various other electronic passtimes. Not to say that each of them is not widely entertaining (I myself find myself spending way too many hours on my DS), but I am saddened by the lack of avid readers I meet. Reading is an entertainment that is so radically different from electronics that I'm confused as to why more people don't involve themselves in both.

I believe that this is partly due to the education system. We are given all of these wonderful works of literature and then time limits to read it in, then tests to show our knowledge. While I understand the necessity of both of these items, I am sorry to say that they seem to be the main reason I feel reading is falling out of this generation. While I didn't enjoy EVERY book we were given in high school, I enjoyed the vast majority of them and am grateful to have been exposed to them. However, I admit that I too was caught up in the boredom that is rushing to read a required book at midnight the night before the test. I found that so many of the books I now know and love dearly are those that I was not forced to read, or if I was forced to read them, they were damn good, lol.

As to a solution to required reading, I'm at a loss. Reading should absolutely be required, but the way that teachers present it so that psychologically kids accept it more fully is a realm which is way over my head. As for tests, I do have somewhat of a solution. It is not new or unheard-of. In fact, it was used in quite a few of my upper level English classes. The idea of the circle discussion is a way for kids to openly talk about books (and even become interested) while still allowing the teacher to judge if the children were actually paying attention. This is achieved by giving the kids a minimum number of times in which they are to bring up a point, and a minimum in which they are to respond to other's points. This allows kids to think of the book more fully and in context, as well as allowing them (and even the teacher) to learn new points of views.

Personally, I'm a reading nut. I devour books and am constantly in search for the newest of some series or author. I love looking at large literary contests (Noble Prize and down) as well as questioning my friends to create my reading lists. I am pretty openminded as to what I read, but I enjoy modern fiction and fantasy/sci-fi the best. Anything that will stimulate my imagination, however, is welcome on my bookshelf. I am currently reading the Bean or Shadow stem of the Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card (having already finished all of the Ender stem). I am also reading, for my modern fiction, Falling Angels, by Tracy Chevalier (the author of Girl with a Peral Earring). I am eagerly waiting for a new Ursula LeGuinn(sp?) book that was nominated for the Mythopoeic Awards. Its probably quite short because it only cost me $1.80. I had to have it.
Well thats probably enough babble for today. I don't expect many people to read what I write anyway, but on the slim chance someone is interested I like to express my ideas.

Have a good evening!

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