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TOPIC: literature

literature 5 months 3 weeks ago #3959842

  • Normski
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Not sure if this should be in this part of the forum but thanks for reading it

When I entered secondary school at eleven years old we suddenly had this new subject on "English Literature" to learn, were given a list of books to read and would start reading one in class, for homework we would be asked to write a "book review" and "character profiles". I struggled with the books, not because of reading ability but I just didnt understand what they were about, were not enjoyable, had no meaning to me amongst other thing, needless to say my reviews and profiles were rubbish. I didnt know what I was supposed to write and got no advice or assistance.
At some point over the next few years we were given a small book of war poems, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke and others, the first I read was "Dulce et Decorum Est" and was completely engrossed, superb I though. Again we were asked to write a review, which I did and handed it in to be hammered. When the teacher was handing back our marked homework she called me up to stand in front of the class. the next is not verbatim but roughly what i remember:-
Teacher-"what is this?"
me - "homework, my review"
teacher-"you give me THIS as your homework?"
me -"well.....yes"
teacher- "disgusting..........a waste of time.............you call THIS a review?" the pauses are where she hit me on the head with the book.
Teacher- (rather irate and loud by now) "READ IT......READ IT OUT LOUD.......SO ALL THE CLASS CAN HEAR IT!!!!!!"
ME- (reading my review) "emotive, totally immersive and one HELL of an ending"
This brought about some laughter and I shrugged my shoulders wondering why and what I had done wrong.
teacher-"this is NOT funny..............is that it?.............is that all you can write?"
me- "read the poem..............there is nothing else i can say or write other than ........READ THE POEM..............what could i write that does it justice or that Wilfred Owen did not put in the poem?"
At that the teacher took my homework book back from me, took one or two strides backwards and threw the book at me shaking her head all the time.

Looking back perhaps, had I understood what a review was supposed to be, I could have written more but , to this day, I believe I was honest and, that if you want a book or poem review, I am not the person to ask.
Please dont see this as me having a go at the teacher, she was doing a difficult job in difficult circumstances, it is just another thing that has been in the back of my mind for years that i needed to "put out there"

Ta
Norman
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literature 5 months 3 weeks ago #3959846

  • senile1
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Had your teacher prepared you better.....ie...examples, and greater details about her expectations, and how best to meet her expectations, you and the rest of the members of the class would have been more successful, and I can guarantee you were not the only one in your class who struggled, especially tackling a new subject without proper instructions and erroneously being singled out by a very poor example of a teacher.
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literature 5 months 3 weeks ago #3959850

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Your teacher was bad at teaching. You were not a bad pupil.
You can know a subject, yet be unable to teach it, and your teacher was thus.

Enjoy reading, that is what it is for. Do not worry about this anymore. smile.png
Please do not let this incident stop you from enjoying books, poetry etc.,
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PEACE to the world

literature 5 months 3 weeks ago #3959955

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I am sorry you endured such a setback while studying English literature. You should have been encouraged to expand your thoughts and feelings about the poetry and been shown examples of literary criticism. Poetry is subjective.

It is encouraging that you are able to relate your negative experience on Buzz. No doubt other members will have had similar experiences.
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'Take the log out of your own eye then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.'
Matthew 7: 5
Last edit: by Aida.

literature 5 months 3 weeks ago #3959980

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That is the WORSE kind of teacher ... they clearly could not actually TEACH so they resort to belittling students to cover their failings.

There are a whole range of 'worlds' in literature and you clearly entered into the world of emotions painted in words by Wilfred Owen.

Being a critic at a young age is something you have to be shown how to do ... it doesn't just come naturally ... that is called 'opinion' and is different.

I hope that awful experience didn't put you off reading for pleasure and for seeking knowledge.

You write a good post and told YOUR story .... in my books that makes YOU a Writer smile.png
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There is a crack ... a crack in everything .... That's how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen ~ Anthem

literature 5 months 3 weeks ago #3960083

  • QuietMouse01
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I agree with everyone....

You explained everything very well.....

Well done...smile.png
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Today is the tomorrow
you worried about yesterday -
and all is well...

literature 5 months 3 weeks ago #3960184

  • man of kent
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When I was a teenager I enrolled in two classes of creative writing - four miles apart - once a week.
ON a group of us - wrote - what we thought - then the others - examined it - later - we were commissioned
to do a radio play - ` On Our Street `. - The other class - was pure poetry - each read their contribution`s
written that evening - to the class - when my turn came to read - I wrote a funny poem ( still do )
I heard titters of laughter - & at the ehnd - they all clapped their hands. ` My Circus ` is still on here -
in my profile page - page 14.

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Last edit: by man of kent.

literature 5 months 3 weeks ago #3960209

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I used to teach English Literature in a college of further education, from GCSE re-sits up to an Access course for adult returnees who were hoping to go on to university. Countless students moaned when it came to poetry, often saying they had hated it at school.
I used to tell them that although I couldn’t promise to make them love poetry, I would endeavour to help them to appreciate it in its many forms.
From what I have seen of late, the teaching of English Literature in schools these days is much better than it was in the past, more inclusive, and includes analysis and appreciation. For me poetry is composed of ‘the best words in the best order’ - quoting Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
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'Take the log out of your own eye then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.'
Matthew 7: 5
Last edit: by Aida.

literature 5 months 1 week ago #3965422

  • man of kent
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I find that compiling a page - for a computer - much more interesting - how many words & lines to an
A4 page - (my computer has a mind of its own) - now recently - I have discovered the `READ ` section.
Where the words you have written - are spoken - by an android - so you can HEAR - your mistakes.

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literature 4 months 21 hours ago #3980010

  • Amandine
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What a very dreadful teacher you had Normski, not easy not to have a go at her! :(
It was her job to extend a hand, open a door for you and reach out.
Not to try and ridicule you in front of the class.
If you failed to the task, I credit her for that! :(

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