In the Land of Confusion, Literature is Evil!

Today’s Daily Prompt asks what subject in school was especially difficult for you.

In reminiscing about my school days I realized I was an average girl in school. I really don’t remember much of my classes whether at Prep school and worst yet, High school. I went to school, sat in class, chatted with friends, and came home, that was the sum total of my childhood days.

There were a few, very few classes I loved: there was Spanish which for some strange reason grasped my attention until High school when I had a falling out with the teacher and I just dropped it all together. Then there was art . . . I loved art. Who wouldn’t want to have an hour or two per day where all you did was draw, paint, or colour something? Are you kidding me? I wish that was my job.

I had a challenge with Math all throughout High school. I remember just doing whatever was taught without fully understanding the concepts. At the end of High School, there is this big examination period (called CXC’s) we all had to go through to say whether we can move on to University, get a job, or repeat. I barely passed Math, among my other subjects, but I was disappointed with my grade, as was my mother. And so I went to an intermediary school where I resat Math along with several other subjects.

By the second or third month in, something my teacher said to me (I don’t remember what he said), and everything Math clicked to me. Before the end of that year, I got a distinction in Math and moved on to Advanced Level Math and Additional Level Math at the same time. Math became that driving force for me. And it helped that there were others who loved Math as much, and so we formed study groups in which we would practice Math and solve equations. Best days ever!!!

But my biggest challenges in school were English and Literature. OMG! I could not stand either of those classes. English felt monotonous, repetitive and down right boring. I obviously can’t brag about my English skills because, even though I thought I had a fairly good enough handle on the English Language, I understood the various terms and rules and exceptions and whatnot, but at the same time, I just could not write anything. I had a limited imagination, and I feared putting my thoughts down on paper, feared that they weren’t good enough, and because of that, I just scraped by . . . barely. And, as embarrassing as it is to admit, I failed English or better yet – Communications at the University level :/ yeah, I just could not get it.

Literature was another failure of mine. For the life of me I could not sit and read through any of the books given. They were the most boring books in the history of books to read. Seriously, you have a class of 12 – 15 year olds, why choose the worst books and force usย to read them? And what was worst was that, at one point we were given three books to read for a particular exam. I quickly realized one of the books was rather interesting – the Chrysalids, and read it from start to finish easily. But would you believe that was the one book they did not include on the exam? Why would you tell me to read these three books, but only two would come on the exam? That was disappointing to say the least.

So from an early age I lost that drive to read a book from start to finish. Not to mention the detailed explanation of the context and themes throughout the book. Forgive my thick skull, but I just never got any of it. They would mention the theme of Women in Society and the passage of the book that we read had no mention of any woman in the society. How do you even get there?

Needless to say, Literature was a sinking debacle for me.

The funny thing about it is that today, you can not get me to stop writing. I wished I paid attention in class so I could understand further the complexities of sentence structures and story telling and all that ‘juicy stuff’. And I wished there was an active book club so I could discuss the books I’m reading on a monthly basis in the same way we would in Literature class. I want to break down the different parts of the book, analyse the themes, structure, and writing styles, and see different perspectives from the different readers. This I think would help me tremendously with my writings and my book. But alas, boring subjects like Literature and English are for the kids . . . us adults should know all that jazz by now, right?!

PS: Are there any online book clubs one could join and discuss books on a regular basis?

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17 comments

  1. I failed English miserably all throughout highschool. The teachers were always telling me how I didn’t unerstand the book we were reading and that I needed to think of it their way (ie. follow the curriculum) and now I want to be a writer. I hope that one day those English teachers will remember me if I ever become a published author haha!

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  2. It makes me so sad that you were assigned boring books in school! I think more front-shelf work should be introduced to teens in the classroom, intermixed with classics, so that students will love what they are studying.

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