September 1, 2020
Daughter Kyla’s 1st day at Franklin’s Forest Park Middle School.
That was more than four months ago. Kyla’s experience at her new school has been sheer joy every day ever since. She loves Forest Park Middle School.
I find this almost hard to believe. Why? Not because of the school which is a veritable Taj Mahal. But because the average kid, you know, isn’t exactly gung ho cheerleader generally when it comes to the daily routine of classes.
Kyla and I have a basic daily ritual of even briefly discussing her day at school, including lunch and bus time. call it what you will ( weird, crazy, bizarre) but I have yet to get a negative report. The worst so far is that some adoring boy keeps staring at her, even when she catches him.
Uh, Kev, is there a but coming? Because it sure sounds like there is.
Kyla loves to read, and her class has a reading club where the students select certain books to read. Parents were notified (we agreed to some, objected to others). And we’re satisfied overall with the list.
The other day I learned Kyla is not excited about the book currently being read.
Doesn’t hate it by any means. Just finds it dull.
Let’s review the book again, from an online assessment.
Twelve-year-old Chinese American Peter Lee and his family always shared a passion for baseball, bonding over backlot games and the Pittsburgh Pirates. But when a devastating tragedy strikes, the family flies apart and Peter’s mom becomes paralyzed by grief, drifting further and further from her family.
Hoping to lift his mother’s spirits, Peter decides to try out for Little League. But his plans become suddenly complicated when his strict and serious father volunteers to coach the team.
My girl is a girly-girl. Comes from a good, solid family. We’ve been spared the tragedies Peter has faced. And Kyla has little interest in baseball, other than the Milwaukee Milkmen, for now. So no wonder to her it’s not Harry Potter.
She brutally, honestly told me her feelings since that’s just the way she is. And I immediately reacted that it was OK. A lightning bolt hit me. I have, not always, but damn near 95% a memory like a steel trap. I, too, had suffered (not sure that’s the right word, but it’s close) like Kyla is when I was in high school back in…never mind.
I’m sorry. Educrats and teachers aren’t always all that bright. They’re human, just like the rest of us humans. In other words, they’re wrong. Mistakes.
Whatever education professionals over the past several decades have forced this book upon me and millions of other hostage-held poor kids should have been shackled. It’s awful. It’s horrible. It’s useless. It’s a horrendous waste of time, much like geometry.
This is NOT a classic. It’s junk.
Silas Marner is a respected member of the small 19th Century rural religious community of Lantern Yard, but his world is shaken when he is wrongfully accused of a theft and expelled as a pariah. He settles anonymously in the town of Raveloe in a hermit-like existence in an isolated cottage. His weaving skills and penurious lifestyle help him amass a small fortune over the next fifteen years, but he is devastated when Dunstan Cass, the wastrel son of the local squire, steals his hidden hoard of gold and disappears. Shortly thereafter, the despondent Marner discovers an orphaned little girl whom he adopts as his own.
Reading that is like watching a one-minute movie trailer that sucks out all the (very few) good parts of a crummy movie.
Every creative writing course in America should require students to read, not a chapter, but a few pages of this bottle of Sominex to see how not to be interesting.
It’s that bad. But as cruel and inhumane punishment, I was commanded to not only read this drivel, but then takes a test or write an essay afterwards. If teachers want kids to like them, this ain’t it.
So, Kyla, I sympathize. But there is good news. Better books await you, hopefully in school, but definitely beyond.