A girl and her cat take on the world with nothing more than a cup of tea and a good book and enough dreams to fill the universe.
I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date! Actually, I’m just behind in my reading. I am about half way through Speak, but I’m taking it slow. I started it when I was sick and it gave me a bit of a headache and I ended up dreaming in the almost poetic prose of Anderson’s work. The book deals with such heavy material and Melinda’s struggle just breaks my heart. I find it hard to believe that the other students would all tease her so mercilessly because she called the cops on the party. Like I said, I haven’t finished the book, but this has been bugging me the whole time. I do not believe that she goes to a school that exists entirely of party goers that would hate her so much for calling the police. It doesn’t seem very realistic, but it is also being told from the point of view of a girl who is working through A LOT of horrible fallout from her rape which might distort how she sees her fellow students. I am not sure how I feel about this book yet. I am hoping to finish it by Wednesday.
Hopefully, this is linked so that you can look at what it actually says and what we should actually teach instead of telling women to try to not get raped. We should teach men not to rape.
In another one of my classes this semester, we were asked to create a list, a canon of works, that we believe every student should have read by the time the graduate from college starting from their time in kindergarten. What we came up with was a rather long list of old dead white guys with a few women, like Wollstonecraft, thrown in at the teacher’s suggestion. I was also thinking about how this reflects this young adult lit class. What is the role of young adult literature in the classroom? Where does it fit in our traditions?
‘Bout sums it up.
I believe that there is a role for young adult literature in a modern classroom. Classics are classics because we make them so. I do not think that we should completely throw out the dead white guys because, as much as we make fun of them for this, they did contribute a great wealth of excellent stories that deal with the harsh issues of life. There has to be a way to use young adult lit in juncture with classic lit to help loop ideas together or modernize what could be seen as archaic stories. It’s just that sometimes I get stuck on the how. Books like Speak and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian can spark those meaningful conversations. These books that speak to teenagers can change lives, can save lives. I look at my future as an English teacher abroad and a science teacher in the United States and I see using young adult literature as a probable uphill battle, but a battle worth fighting.
This will totally work.
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No One Here But a Writer Who Gets Up and Try
Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller
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Stefan Falke photographs artists who live and work along the 2000 miles long U.S.- Mexico border to document the vibrant culture of the region on both sides. All photos © Stefan Falke (use with written permission by the author only)