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Which novels would you recommend for adults whose reading skills lag?

 
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:30 am
@aidan,
Now that I have read the rest of your post, I am so glad that you included books in which the protagonist overcomes a struggle. While I can feel a "books that are good for you" protest simmering as I write this, the truth of the matter is people like to read books in which the protagonist triumphs which is so many want they lived happily ever after as an ending.

Besides, we have been in the era of multiculturalism for so long that we expect our heroes and heroines to come in different colors, ages, ethnicities, sexual preferences and states of mind.

It bothers me that there is a discrepancy between the designated curriculum of this state and the knowledge of basics my students display. It concerns me that they think Hitler was a communist or have no idea who Martin Luther was.

My 26 year old son made the decision not to go to a four-year college. He scored above 1250 on the SAT and on the advanced level on the state competency tests. He went to mechanics school instead. He has since thanked me for the fact that his father and I read aloud to him for years; for the conversations about science his father (who was trained as a chemist) had with him and for the week after week dinners I served in front of the television as we watched Nova together. He appreciates the school system he went through which he now recognizes as superior to other systems.

For years, I carpooled kids who talked about government and physics. I saw the education my kids were receiving as superior to my own in many ways. I defended their education against criticisms leveled at today's schools here on a2k and on abuzz. It was easy to feel confident when your own system is good and when you have placed two children in a private school that is even better.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:31 am
@aidan,
Those are more great suggestions. I loved The Color of Water.
0 Replies
 
electronicmail
 
  0  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:34 am
@plainoldme,
plainoldme wrote:

BASICALLY, I AM BEING ACCUSED OF AND CRITICIZED FOR NOT DOING WHAT I AM DOING: OFFERING THEM A CHOICE.

You're frustrated. Caps don't help. Think: how do your readers feel? How does your class?

You can't write worth a damn. You don't know that so let me count the ways:

You drop syllables in quoted titles
"Another instructor, actually a tenured full professor, also teaching ENG 101, uses a different anthology. Since the faculty is reading Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed, she assigned that book to the entire class as a basis for research. I think my program is better."
Um, no, it's Nickeled and Dimed.

You lose entire words as when you tell Tsarstepan
"Microcosm of the macrocosm? The part that stands in the whole. Really? You haven't heard that?"
Nope. It's the part that stands in FOR the whole.

You don't know neigh from nay, knight from night
"You are always right. I am such a beknighted person that I don't know my mind."
Benighted? I guess you are.

Yo girl I don't care. God knows I'm no literature expert but I don't pretend to be one either and you do. The poster who told you
"Please, drop the snot re who knows what."
was right on the button.

Boomerang is right you'll never get to where you say you want to be with this approach. It defeats your stated purpose.

If your unstated purpose is "I wanna feel superior to Y'ALL IDIOTS" THAT purpose you're accomplishing IN SPADES.

plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:34 am
A general note to all:

As of academic 2011-2012, no student can take a history or political science course without having completed ENG 101 with a passing grade. The social science faculty is tired of the papers they have received.

As of academic 2011-2012, ENG 102 will include Hamlet.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:35 am
@plainoldme,
I post this to emphasize how important it is to bring up the reading level of all students.
electronicmail
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:38 am
@plainoldme,
Drunk Rolling Eyes
Start by not marking down posts by people trying to help you. Too much to ask, is it?

You're a hypocrite and a fool.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:43 am
@electronicmail,
electronicmail wrote:
You drop syllables in quoted titles
"Another instructor, actually a tenured full professor, also teaching ENG 101, uses a different anthology. Since the faculty is reading Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed, she assigned that book to the entire class as a basis for research. I think my program is better."
Um, no, it's Nickeled and Dimed.



um, no

the title of the Ehrenreich book is Nickel and Dimed

ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:44 am
@electronicmail,
I've been marking you down after taking a quick look at your posts here. Others may be as well. I suspect it's not POM.
electronicmail
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:49 am
@ehBeth,
Thanks. I withdraw my comment to POM on the markdown point made in this post
http://able2know.org/topic/170547-7#post-4574254

Mind telling the thread why you object to this different post?
http://able2know.org/topic/170547-7#post-4574247

Any errors in it?
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:53 am
@plainoldme,
plainoldme wrote:
I thought I made it clear that the idea of this list is just to pass out a summer reading list.

And Boomerang's point seems to be that if you want your students to actually read what's on your list, novels are probably not the best idea, because they require committed readers to begin with.

***

A theme you frequently bring up is that your students have a problem with retention. They don't get what the text is saying. To the extent that this is a motivation problem, perhaps the best kind of book to address it would be detective stories. I remember that when I was a teenager, I would read collections of short-ish stories, perhaps 20 pages each, where someone committed a crime, the detective would interview three or four suspects, and one of them would tell a story with holes or contradictions in it. The story would finish with a question to the reader---who's lying?---and there would be a solution in the appendix to the book. The authors were all German, so I cannot recommend specific American book titles. But my point is that this genre is simple enough for your students to actually read it, and encourages them to pay attention.
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:53 am
@electronicmail,
could be your general douchebaggery on the site as a whole

but that's just my guess
plainoldme
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:54 am
@electronicmail,
You have no idea who I am. I am not a fool. I am not a hypocrite. You have no idea who marked your post down. Frankly, if you think insulting me as you did is helping, you need to see a counselor.
0 Replies
 
electronicmail
 
  0  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:55 am
@ehBeth,
I never read the woman's books and I see you're right
The expression is nickeled and dimed but Ms Ehrenreich has her own version of reality. I'm not surprised
http://www.barbaraehrenreich.com/images/home_baitandswitch.jpg
So you got 1 out of 3 in the post you marked down. Anything to say on the other 2?
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:55 am
@electronicmail,
How well do you write at 1:00 am? As I said, insulting people is not helping them.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:56 am
@electronicmail,
BTW, your post was voted down before I saw it. Now, I should be on the road in five minutes to drive 70 miles to teach. I am still in my pajamas and my hair is unwashed. So long.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:57 am
@ehBeth,
Thanks for telling him you marked his post down. As I wrote above, it was marked down before I saw it.
0 Replies
 
electronicmail
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:57 am
@plainoldme,
I never insult anybody.

I ignore "douchebaggery" helpfully posted by someone here.

I also don't write at 1 am. I also don't care. Your students do.
plainoldme
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 06:59 am
@electronicmail,
So, you have it in for me, do you? Well, if tailing me is your goal in life, then that is a sad life. And, I am putting you on ignore and not looking at your reference. I have too much on my plate to engage in the sort of struggle you seem to enjoy.
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 07:03 am
@electronicmail,
electronicmail wrote:
I ignore "douchebaggery" helpfully posted by someone here.


i try to be helpful where possible

i'm just that kind of guy
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Apr, 2011 07:03 am
@Thomas,
People enjoy stories but not necessarily life stories. There is some evidence that people only start reading memoirs later in life.

I never said that I would not include detective stories, just that I can't read them myself. Frankly, that admission should have, I would think, brought forth a list of detective fiction. Hey, I wrote above how people made me a project and gave me detective fiction years ago.

I am a would be writer myself. I have used the process of reading a detective novel as an analogy for the process of writing any novel. Just as the reader seeks to solve the mystery, so the writer seeks to solve the problems of writing: creating characters and settings and building a reasonable arc to the story.
0 Replies
 
 

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