What Caught My Fancy This Week
For one of my classes we were supposed to give a speech and then write an article on the same topic. I have written enough argumentative essays over the past 15 years to make me rather sick of it all. I am also going to spend my working life reading students argumentative essays. I am sure I will read more than my fair share of essays about the death penalty and assisted suicide. I really didn’t want to write one myself. So I chose to give my speech on the importance of reading to children. It was a sure winner since I was giving the speech to a bunch of future Swedish teachers. My professor was almost in tears she was so happy with my choice and the speech (even though I went over in time). Then I wrote a column on the same thing.
After I had handed in my first draft I ended up reading a really upsetting article in a teaching magazine. Apparently high school students have such a poor vocabulary that they can’t read regular text books in various subjects!!! I often complain that the academic texts I have to read use bigger words than necessary. That I hate. But to not know basic vocabulary??!!! That is just so incredibly wrong.
The article I read advocated that students in lower grades should be given an hour of free reading time per week. An hour? Per week??!! Allow me to be appalled at the paltry amount. Yes I know that I can spend an entire day reading, actually I could spend all day every day reading if I was allowed. And yes I know that reading is not everyone’s cup of tea, but come on! An hour a week?! They need more than that! Reading shouldn’t be a chore but it should definitely be encouraged. And quite frankly I don’t care what they read, as long as they read. Because I firmly believe that sooner or later they will realise that reading isn’t hard or scary but fun and a great way of finding out new things and they will read different things.
Reading is so incredibly important that we shouldn’t simply schedule in an hour a week. It should be something that happens every day and we need to talk about WHY it is important to read.
I’m going to get off my high horse now. But man did that make my blood boil. An hour a week indeed!
I’m reading quite a few books this week :D
Rapture in Death by J.D. Robb. Still re-reading this. I haven’t read that much in it this week because I usually read this in bed at night and this week I’ve been up late watching the Olympics.
The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles. I’m almost done this book and I realise why I don’t remember it. I simply didn’t like it the first time. And I don’t like it now. I am still counting it for the Flashback Challenge because I think it will be interesting to discuss why I don’t like it and how I look at it differently now, I still have my old notes.
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. We have had absolutely atrocious weather here this week and I have had a mad week in school so I haven’t been out for my walks when I mainly listen to audiobooks so no listening to this this week. Makes me sad because I really like it. This will be my first book for the South Asian Author Challenge.
I only reviewed one book this week, but what a book!!!
The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois. This was probably one of the most thought provoking books I have read in a long time. I was surprised by how relevant it still was. So much of what Du Bois wrote can be applied to today’s world. The importance of education and the dangers of certain types of loans. I have put Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery because Du Bois heavily criticises his stand on education and suffrage and I wanted to know what Washington actually said. I do love it when one book causes me to read another. On a purely personal note I am also incredibly proud of this review. It felt really solid.
An article from The Guardian about Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. It talks about many of the problems I had with the books, and about the movie of the first book which is out in the UK this month. They are actually showing the movies (extended cut apparently) on tv here this spring. I will probably watch them. Should be interesting.