I am relieved to remember that I still have a handful of days at home before I have to return to the rigors of a new (and final) semester. My brain is reluctant to slow down when I consider all that I must accomplish between now and May:
Tis the season for headbands, for I have acquired five in the past week. They are the best remedy for a bad hair day, which I am certainly experiencing today. I haven't the energy to shower. Showers are such a pain. Headbands are the remedy. Grace made two of them by dismantling floral arrangements and using hot glue; they're adorable. And Guion gave me a gorgeous one from Anthropologie that will be featured in our Save-the-Date photo (we had a brief shoot with Grace yesterday).
A man came into the bookstore today to buy "Beloved" for his daughter. I told him that it was one of my favorite novels and his reply was that she had to read it for a high school assignment. My heart always sinks a little when I hear that. My assumption, proper or not, is that these students will read these great books and hate them because they are assignments and then never want to read them again, attaching the memory of high school drudgery to Morrison's name forever. I think one of the main reasons I love books as much as I do is because the great ones I got to read were rarely ever assigned. Since I was young, my mother turned me loose in the library and let me read literally anything I brought home. When choice is involved, the chances for love are much greater. (The same could be said for arranged marriages, perhaps.) I think about how I would solve this problem if I were a high school English teacher, though, and my belief becomes complicated. It would be impossible to teach if I let students choose what they wanted to read among five different novels. I don't know the answer to this dilemma, but the way they teach kids literature in school is the primary reason I'd homeschool my children. After tutoring English in public schools, I find traditionally educated kids who love to read something like Christmas miracles.
I am reading "Absalom, Absalom!" because there are at least 30 reasons why I should love Faulkner but don't.
Obvious numbers: This is my 200th post on this blog, and my first post of 2010.
"'I don't plead youth, since what creature in the South since 1861, man woman or mule, had had time or opportunity not only to have been young, but to have heard what being young was like from those who had.'" Absalom, Absalom! William Faulkner