Originally Posted by vxf
No, I am serious. Some stuff you have to learn, fun or not. School is meant to educate...
By this pace, by the time I am old, there won't be anyone capable of performing a medical procedure, because they won't be able to read a medical textbook. Or because they will not feel like doing it, because it's 'too boring'.
These are all good points - however, I'm still at a loss to understand what someone is supposed to gain by wading through "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" rather than something more modern. In a history assignment it would make sense, as an aid to learning about victorian social attitudes, communication media, rurual economy or whatever. But seriously - why study this book rather than something more accessible that tackles the same topics without the turgid paid-by-the-word prose and simpering victorian prudery?The only thing it prepared me for was the tedium of wading through corporate mission statements and training manuals.
Something like 'Of Mice and Men' on the other hand is much more accessible - separated far enough in time to be out of immediate context but still recent enough to be acessible - and it's not like Steinbeck was a hack. Not everyone's idea of enjoyment either, but it's a a lot easier to get something worthwhile out of it.
Personally, I get the impression that there are two large chunks of the educational establishment which conspire to destroy people's involvement with the written word. One thinks that nothing is worth discussing unless it's either at least a century old or written from the point of view of an alcholic's thymus gland using the vernacular of a hebridean fisherman. The other group think that the slack-jawed retards of today can't possibly cope with reading anything more complex than the tv listings unless every single word, name and punctuation mark is explained at interminable length in short words.
Hence you get people who are so disconnected from reading and writing that they not only can't string together a coherent email without coaching, they also can't read them properly. If I had a few pounds for every time I've had to say things like "What are you trying to get across?", "are you sure that's really what they mean by writing.." or "how do you think that will come across to the people to someone who..." I would be retired by now. And I think in many cases this comes from a total lack of experience in parsing through how a skilled modern(ish) writer can assemble text to convey a desired message to a particular audience, and practicing that themselves.