Illuminating your life

In School there are certain books we all have to read for English criteria, and most of the books are dreaded my most students.

“they’re so boring!! why can’t we choose our own books “

Is what is heard by most teachers each year, but haven’t you ever stopped to wonder why they choose these books in the first place? Or why they’re “Required” for your grade?  Don’t you think they carry some significance? I don’t think their initial intent is to make your life miserable, or keep you up at 3:00 in the morning taking notes because you have a test the same day and didn’t even bother reading the book. I think we’ve all done that once in our life, but I believe these books are given to us in a time and place where we can form a deep connection with the literature.

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I recall last year receiving the book To Kill A Mockingbird and having that one kid in class,

“Can we just watch the movie?”

because as I High school student myself, shutting my brain off and watching TV always sounds better than reading a book. When I heard from my teacher that we were going to read the book in class out loud I nearly went crazy. I couldn’t picture my life for the next two months reading a book that I could just spark note in 10 minutes. As we read through the story we had to analyze the dialogue, and write our opinions about it. I was actually shocked to see how much of the book related to my world.  I have always had a father who puts my brother and I before anybody and everything  even though he is struggling to be successful , and it has always been a confusing thought on how people can be so mean to one another. I drove myself crazing analyzing

“I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays. if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

I ended up reading the book more than a couple times, but the most valuable lesson I encountered was not judging people on how they look. You have to walk a mile in their shoes, and really get to know what it’s like to be them. It’s a simple lesson, but a common one that we all forget to follow. These little lessons remind you on how to become a better wiser person, but you can only get out as much from these books, as the time you put in. Image

We started reading A tale of two cities and from everyone i’ve talked to, I heard it one of the most, not if the most boring book you will read in high school. We were instructed in class to analyze just the first paragraph of the first chapter. Other than it has the most famous line, I thought we were just wasting class time, because who really cares about the first paragraph?? but I went on to read, and my first time around I was wondering what it all meant. It just sounded terrible and boring, but I broke up the sentences and after really looking at it for 10 minutes it all became very poetic and understanding between light and darkness. Charles Dickens carefully wrote these lines in an specific order to get his message across. We aren’t finished sharing our analyzations as a class, but it’s interesting to see how people interpret the authors words differently.

Next time you really are considering blowing through a book, or considering why you have to read it, take it as a chance to enlighten yourself and learn a few lessons about life.

-Laura

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