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Saturday, March 11, 2006



That's a good analysis. However, I've often taken a more antagonist aproach. I am convinced that most people actually LOVE to read. The problem is they don't yet know what type of literature they love to read. In other words, you won't catch me reading mysteries or romance novels. Yet, give me the great American novelists of the 20th century or a good history book and I'm hooked. As social animals, people inherently look to connect with the parts of their world they find most interesting. What better way to do this then to read about those circles and improve one's knowledge of the same. It's all a matter of finding that spark for each individual student. That is where the difficulty lies.

Unfortunately, that does not make the teacher's job any less challenging. In fact, the teacher more often than not needs to be well-versed in various genres of literature in order to guide his or her students appropriately. Public education often stifles this as well when limiting the required reading to the standard texts. Creativity is necessary for touching on all possible student interests and offering various avenues for reading comprehension.

Students interested in music? Let them READ and interpret the lyrics that they listen to. Students interested in cars? Turn the on to the history of the automobile or even let them READ automobile manuals. As any READER knows, there are more books, magazines, and papers in this world for any one person to ever possibly consume. Let's use that to our advantage and get our students reading again...

Rob A.

When you said: "Students interested in music? Let them READ and interpret the lyrics that they listen to" it reminded me of an old SNL skit where David Hyde Pierce is a high school poetry teacher, Mr. Templon and Farely (Alan) reads his poetry.

Alan: Me? No way. I thought this was supposed to be private and stuff.

Mr. Templon: Well, that was the idea. But something about the sheer intensity of your poem made me think that the class would benefit from a recitation.

Alan: Come on, Mr. Templon, please? I'm too embarassed.

Mr. Templon: Oh, oh, Alan, there is nothing in your poem to be embarassed about. [walks to Alan and hands him the poem]

Alan: [takes poem, stands, and walks to front of classroom, but faces Mr. Templon] "What I Believe," by Alan Toshman.

Mr. Templon: Alan, I know the poem; I graded it. Why don't you turn around and share it with the class? [positions Alan to face the other students]

Alan: "She was a fast machine. / She kept her motor clean. / She was the best damn woman that I ever seen."

Randy: Dude, you are so busted!

Mr. Templon: Hey! Hey! This obviously means a lot to Alan. You go on.

Alan: "She had the slightest eyes, / Telling me no lies, / Knocking me out with those American thighs..." Oh, forget it. That's all! I'm done. [crumples poem, drops it on desk, and sits]

Mr. Templon: Oh, oh, now.

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