Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

The canon and my lousy education

Expand Messages
  • WendellWag@aol.com
    You know, I hate to think how I would have been judged if a college had decided whether to accept me or not based on how much of this list I had read when I
    Message 1 of 18 , Dec 24, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      You know, I hate to think how I would have been judged if a college had decided whether to accept me or not based on how much of this list I had read when I graduated from high school. I think I had read a cut version of a couple of Shakespeare's plays in our lousy literature textbooks. I'd read the Declaration of Independence, I think. I'd read 1984 on my own. I'd read some short selections from Homer in our literature books. I'd read a cut version of a Dickens novel in our textbooks. I'd read large parts of the Bible. And that's it. Depite this, I was easily the biggest reader in my high school class

      The same thing was true in other academic areas. I entered college not only planning to study math but hoping to get a Ph.D. in it. Yes, my education was lousy at that point. I recovered from it. And if a college looked at my SAT's (719 V, 772 M), they could tell that I would do well. I shudder to think what they would have done if they had judged my ability by how much I had learned up to that point. Yes, it would be nice for students to be well educated in high school, but the fact is that some students come to college poorly educated and still do well in college.

      Wendell Wagner

      >Here's the entire list, by the way. Remember, they're being
      >criticized for not having read all thirty before leaving high school.
      >
      >1. The Works of Shakespeare
      >
      >2. The Declaration of Independence
      >
      >3. Twain, Mark, Huckleberry Finn
      >
      >4. The poems of Emily Dickinson
      >
      >5. The poems of Robert Frost
      >
      >6. Hawthorne, Nathaniel, Scarlet Letter
      >
      >7. Fitzgerald, Scott F., The Great Gatsby
      >
      >8. Orwell, George, 1984
      >
      >9. Homer, Odyssey and Iliad
      >
      >10. Dickens, Charles, Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities
      >
      >11. Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Canterbury Tales
      >
      >12. Salinger, J.D., Catcher in the Rye
      >
      >13. The Bible
      >
      >14. Thoreau, Henry David, Walden
      >
      >15. Sophocles, Oedipus
      >
      >16. Steinbeck, John, the Grapes of Wrath
      >
      >17. Ralph Waldo Emerson's essays and poems
      >
      >18. Austen, Jane, Pride and Prejudice
      >
      >19. Whitman, Walt, Leaves of Grass
      >
      >20. The novels of William Faulkner
      >
      >21. Melville, Herman, Moby Dick
      >
      >22. Milton, John, Paradise Lost
      >
      >23. Vergil, Aeneid
      >
      >24. Plato, The Republic
      >
      >25. Marx, Karl, Communist Manifesto
      >
      >26. Machiavelli, Niccolo, the Prince
      >
      >27. Tocqueville, Alexis de, Democracy in America
      >
      >28. Dostoevski, Feodor, Crime and Punishment
      >
      >29. Aristotle, Politics
      >
      >30. Tolstoy, Leo, War and Peace
      Recent Activity
      1New Members
      Visit Your Group
      SPONSORED LINKS
      Genre magazine
      Science fiction and fantasy
      Film genres
      Yahoo! Movies
      Want a sneak peek?
      Check out new
      trailers and clips
      Yahoo! News
      Most Popular News
      What's the most
      popular news now?
      Yahoo! TV
      Sign up for alerts
      Stay tuned in for
      The Apprentice..

      ________________________________________________________________________
      Check out the new AOL. Most comprehensive set of free safety and security tools, free access to millions of high-quality videos from across the web, free AOL Mail and more.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • William Cloud Hicklin
      ... Al-Hazred is a fictional character of a H.P. Lovecraft s... ... Cthulhu Mythos of Lovecraft s imagining, as well as being a fictional artifact... No!
      Message 2 of 18 , Dec 24, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Jonathan Michael Reiter
        <jmrmpd@...> wrote:
        >
        > I think we're talking about real time Arab Scholars. Abdul
        Al-Hazred is a fictional character of a H.P. Lovecraft's...
        > As is The Necronomicon, another fictional character in the
        Cthulhu Mythos of Lovecraft's imagining, as well as being a
        fictional artifact...


        No! Really?? </heavy sarcasm>


        > Jonathan Michael Reiter
        > jmr
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: William Cloud Hicklin
        > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Saturday, December 23, 2006 10:50 PM
        > Subject: [mythsoc] Re: old favorites and sagging canon
        >
        >
        > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, jane Bigelow <jbigelow@>
        > wrote:
        > >....No scholars from the Arab
        > > world?
        >
        > You mean like the Necronomicon :)
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • jane Bigelow
        Wendell, I would ve been denied college admission myself if reading even most of the items on that list were a prerequisite. Many were not required by my high
        Message 3 of 18 , Dec 25, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          Wendell,

          I would've been denied college admission myself if reading even most
          of the items on that list were a prerequisite. Many were not
          required by my high school Way Back Then, so the decline of
          civilization must date back quite awhile. Since I now have my MLS
          and have published nonfiction, short stories and a novel, I guess I
          also recovered!

          It's been decades since I graduated from high school, so I no longer
          recall what I read then and what much later. Can remember thinking
          Jane Austen was a total bore, though I loved the Brontes, which I
          believe I read on my own. It's probably lucky for me that I didn't
          encounter anyone remotely like Heathcliff in my Kansas City, MO neighborhood.

          We did briefly encounter Greek tragedy in my senior year. We weren't
          supposed to look in the back of the book where some of the comedies
          were, but some of us did. Lysistrata was quite a revelation! It did
          keep me from ever thinking of the classics as dusty or dull.

          I do think it's a good idea to be exposed to some things that you
          don't think you'll like. Sometimes you're surprised, as I was when
          my husband dragged me to a talk on medieval civil engineering. I
          just think that a list of such length and complexity is too much to
          expect as a baseline. At the same time, it leaves out too much that
          would help to establish a shared core of (not necessarily accepted)ideas.

          Jane


          At 06:44 PM 12/24/2006, you wrote:

          >You know, I hate to think how I would have been judged if a college
          >had decided whether to accept me or not based on how much of this
          >list I had read when I graduated from high school. I think I had
          >read a cut version of a couple of Shakespeare's plays in our lousy
          >literature textbooks. I'd read the Declaration of Independence, I
          >think. I'd read 1984 on my own. I'd read some short selections from
          >Homer in our literature books. I'd read a cut version of a Dickens
          >novel in our textbooks. I'd read large parts of the Bible. And
          >that's it. Depite this, I was easily the biggest reader in my high school class
          >
          >The same thing was true in other academic areas. I entered college
          >not only planning to study math but hoping to get a Ph.D. in it.
          >Yes, my education was lousy at that point. I recovered from it. And
          >if a college looked at my SAT's (719 V, 772 M), they could tell that
          >I would do well. I shudder to think what they would have done if
          >they had judged my ability by how much I had learned up to that
          >point. Yes, it would be nice for students to be well educated in
          >high school, but the fact is that some students come to college
          >poorly educated and still do well in college.
          >
          >Wendell Wagner
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.