Current/Recent Reading List

26 April 2007

Because Life Is Worthwhile

That is the best answer I've ever come up with (shamelessly lifted from an essay by Roger Scruton)to the question, "Why are we even reading this crap anyway?", which is usually followed by "How is this going to help me in life? This won't help me get a job."

Sometimes I'm spared having to point out why we read and study literature. With my absolute WORST COLLECTION OF STUDENTS EVER!!! in second period today we finished Of Mice and Men. For once all the wiseacre and immature boys were quiet, and the couple of complainer girls were as well. They wanted me to read the last chapter to them, and of course it is quite a doozy. Without overdoing it, I tried to read Lenny and George "in character", though in the spirit of muted suspense with which the chapter is written. And in the middle of it, to my surprise, I almost got choked up right there in front of everyone - I had to strain to keep reading with composure, something that has maybe only happened to me once or twice before.

When we finished discussing the last lines of the book, we took a water/bathroom break. And afterwards, there in the hallway, lingered a group of my girls, actually talking - spontaneously! - about the book, and about how they were fighting back tears at the end of it. I could tell that they were excited about the book, and they didn't, just yet, want to leave the fictional world they had allowed themselves to enter. I said very little, because what, after all, could I possibly add to that?

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