Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We Were Robbed...

...or at least I was! Before you panic this has NOTHING to do with John, our house, cars or anything else but with my education and specifically my education in English literature, sigh, just robbed.

Thanks to Woman of the House and her weekly reading challenges, I have been finding more and more books to read. The latest is Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. It is hilarious. It is so funny that I end up reading passages of it to Mark because he comes to find out what I'm rolling around laughing about, at times enough I can't breathe. The book was originally published in 1889 and while I'm not exactly sure that a publishing date makes something classic, it certainly makes it old and the definition of classic seems to be a moving target anyhow.

So you are wondering about the robbing, well if we had read this in High School English class instead of some other books my love for classic literature could have been fostered at a much younger age. This is certainly not dry, nor boring, nor is it a long treatise on depressing subjects that left me wondering why all the characters of the book didn't just leap from the nearest ledge. In a world of homeschool mommies who tout classic books here and there I often feel like the lone hold out. I certainly see the value in some classics, Lord of the Flies should be required reading for everyone who deals with children, most especially boys, and even more especially other people's boys. To Kill a Mockingbird certainly shouldn't be missed, and I even have fond memories of Old Man in the Sea. But books, which others admittedly love, like Silas Marner and Ethan Frome, made me positive that while I should read the classics I had little desire to actually do so.

This book Three Men in a Boat actually gives me hope for delving into more classics over time. I have always thought I should, but now I find more 'want to' and in the end 'want to' gets me a lot farther than 'should' ever did. I do not believe that my English teacher did something wrong, personally, I am positive that she chose books that she herself loved and that moved her, but it does make me realize the limitations of 35 kids in one literature class and thankful that when it comes time to get John motivated to read the classics that I will get to tailor our reading to his sense of humor and taste and eventually broaden his education by choosing things that fit him and lead him in, instead of ones that fit me or a set curriculum.

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