Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I never was what would be considered a scholar. I was not even a good student after sixth grade and out from under the iron fist of Sister Hildegard, a four foot tall mean relentless ruler wielding spitfire that an 11 year old did not dare to challenge.

I coasted ever since until my second attempt at college.

When I was riding the wave of know it all-ism in High School I was  doing everything possible to just get by. This included copying homework during Home Room. I also was a pro at  feigning illness to hang out in bed all day doing a crash study for Social Study tests.

Even then I loved to read, but only what I wanted to read. Not what was assigned. How I ever got through High School is a mystery and a miracle.

I missed out on reading a lot of terrific literature due to my stubbornness and proclivity to procrastinate. I recently picked up THE GREAT GATSBY. Didn't I read this in High School? Didn't I write a paper about the empty shells of fruit lying in the garbage and comparing it to the lives of the characters?

The reference to the fruit - ah, there it is, around page 40. I will bet the farm that is as far as I got in the book before seizing on that theme. I can see it now, thinking how cunning and smart I am as I happily wrote a couple of pages of BS that allowed me to disregard the rest of the book!

I am so sad that it took so long for me to actually read TGG. Did I love it? Do I consider it to be one of the greatest pieces of fiction ever written? 

What do I know? What I do know is that if I had to write a paper today I would examine Tom, Daisy's husband, and why he chose women from obviously a lower class to have affairs with!! That intrigued me. And I would rail against the symbolism of that green light! I would argue that FSF is laughing at us, where ever he is.

My ambitious endeavor of this reading challenge will include a lot of CLASSICS that I neatly sidestepped as a smart aleck during those formative years.

Did you ever use Cliff Notes in school? Or did you just fake it (like me)?



Smiled about your assessment of yourself in school. I was a straight A student until I discovered boys. Then it was a different story. LOL About a year ago I too decided to read The GREAT GATSBY again too. Downloaded it on my Kindle and that was that. Other things have gotten in the way and I still haven't read it. I never used Cliff Notes in school. But both my daughter's did.

Eryl said...

I didn't go to the kind of school that expected people to read. I got lucky in my last two years when two young English lit teachers passed through the school for a couple of months each on their way from university to jobs in better schools. They introduced me to Orwell and Solzhenitsyn. But I didn't become a reader until I met my (now ex) husband whose family were very bookish. When I, at last, went back to study in my thirties I used our equivalent of Cliff Notes (can't remember what they're called) and found them marvellous.

Nelle said...

I was in college prep courses so the reading list was extensive. I loved reading the classics and the only one I was reluctant to read was A Tale of Two Cities. Once I began, I was hooked. I fell in love with The Scarlet Letter and Lorna Doone and so many more. My mother never read and considered it a waste of time. My Dad did but rarely had time to.I have slacked off as of late always feeling there is something more pressing (often medically related.) I hope to get back into it soon.

Lisa :-] said...

I think I read exactly ONE book I was supposed to read in high school. And I really enjoyed it, so I don't know what my problem was with reading the assigned stuff. I just could not stand to be told what to do, even so many years ago! But I always got A's in English, anyway...