Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Smart is so Uncool

Here I go again. Not blogging for weeks. A girl friend of mine just showed me her blog today and I remembered I need to stop by here. So let's start off with Goodreads is down right now or something for some reason. This is not okay. What am I supposed to do with myself if i can't check up on the latest books and reviews? Well lots of things but most of those I would rather not do. So instead I am here talking to myself. (and maybe someone somewhere out there [under the pale moonlight] reading this)
In my English class, American Lit II, we cover the time period 1880-1950 in literature. Right now we are reading The Awakening by Kate Chopin. It is a relatively short read and covers women's roles in society in the 1800's before the women's suffrage campaign. I am surprisingly enjoying this read and was really looking forward to discussing it in class. However, I forgot two important pieces of information. One, I'm not in an Honors class anymore. 2, not everyone likes to read as much as I do. Now let me set something straight, I like to read but not usually school books. I was in honors English class for the past couple years and rarely did I actually read the books assigned. But still we had great conversations about what we were reading. There were always some kids with a genuine interest in the text. But as my teacher began asking questions about the reading I realized that almost no one around me was really enjoying this book. Okay I'm not judging but seriously only one other person seemed to really be experiencing the book like me instead of just reading it and scanning for information that might be on the quiz the next day. Most of the student's came in the room and said something along the lines of, "I don't understand what they are trying to say," "It's all just gibberish" or "why can't they translate these books into modern day English." I just didn't understand the first two comments. This book was extremely easy to comprehend. It is very light writing and fresh for the time period. Try reading Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights  and then come back and tell me Kate Chopin is hard to follow. The last comment up there about translating old books I just found offensive. I don't want to be hypocritical, I used to wonder that same thing when I was younger but Once you open you mind to the classics your mind is forever changed. There is such a beauty and an elegance to older works like this one by Kate Chopin, or Jane Austen or the Bronte girls. How could you ever want take the beauty of their writing and dumb it down to a reader's digest form of writing so these lazy kids will read it? It would be a crime. I hate to say it, because I do read a lot of contemporary lit, but there is a class in the older pieces that you just can't find anymore.
So this really put a damper on my day. Not only did I not get my discussion on the book like I wanted but I looked like one of the loser over achievers in class cause I gave to many answers on the book and raise my hand too many times to give my opinion. I hate it how it is so uncool to be publicly smart. This is something I know a lot about and it really troubles me. It is uncool to raise your hand more than 3 times in a class period because then people mark you of as an overachiever and will mock you for it. It is uncool to read books in school during free time  instead of playing on your phone or talking. As a person who does this a lot I know what this is like. I am constantly written off as a bookworm. I read a lot and I read fast. I don't make a big deal out of it, in fact I try not to bring it up at all. But when I am with some people  and I relate something to a book or something I always get a "of course you read this in a book" or a "How fast did you read that one?" It can really get old. I'm not ashamed of my reading, I just hate how my reading for fun in Highschool is such a BFD. If I said I saw it on tv nobody would give me any crap about it but the fact that I am literally looking at letters on a page... So lame.
And don't even think about bringing your kindle to school. This is one of the worst rookie mistakes. The act of bring a kindle to school shows 2 things: 1) that you read enough to use a kindle [aka you are a nerd] 2) you look like you are wanting attention. People think you are trying to show off and give you crap when really you just wanna sit down and read you effing Ebook. Excuse you that it was cheaper and fast to get in on amazon than drive over to Barnes&Noble. Oh and that part about wanting to read your ebook.. yeah you can forget about it. If you are seen reading from your kindle people who have no manners or respect for someone trying to escape into a book will rudely interrupt you and  say "Waoh! is that a kindle?" no dumbshit it's a piece of boiling lava I'm reading off of. Then they will ask,"So how do those things even work?"  Well you see I wear rubber gloves since it is hot lava. and I bang it against my head when I want to turn the page. "do you like it" Not I hate it and that's why I continue to read off it. Or you get the second option of response to seeing your kindle, "OMG you are sooo cool with your little kindle." Okay thanks for that sarcasm. Can I please get back to my book now?
To sum up this rant of a post: I am pissed off and saddened by the treatment of young readers and Students who show interest in an unpopular topic. I don't know how but I feel that the view of reading and literature for young people in our country needs a change. I joke with my friend about how she thinks reading is too hard or boring and I try not to judge her but if it was anyone else I would be thinking  That is is really lame and pathetic that you feel that way. Only a person who is trying to not enjoy a good book can possibly find it boring. And as for hard, well sure maybe if you didn't pass 1st grade phonics but come on people. Just because you have to physically hold the book and use your imagination instead of sit in front of the TV and have it tell the story to you free of effort, doesn't mean it's hard. It just means you are too lazy to try.

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