Difference between reading a book for language arts/english and reading on your own time

Reading a chapter on your own time: Alright, wonder what might happen now.

Reading a chapter for English class: Alright, now I have to answer some rather annoying questions about little things that happen in which my dog could answer if he read it.

Finishing a book on your own time: Well that book was good/bad.

Finishing a book for English class: Shit, I now have to do a big test. This sucks.

Preparing to read a book on your own time: Alright, better find a place to relax.

Preparing to read a book forced to you by English class: Better find some pencils, some paper, worksheets, and go to a desk or something.

Picking a book out on your own time: Better go on Amazon, a library close to me, Barns and Nobles, etc.

Picking a book out for English class: Impossible.

Realizing a book is bad on your own time: I'm going to stop reading this, possibly burn it.

Realizing the book given to you in English class sucks: WELL THIS IS JUST FUCKING GREAT, ISN'T IT?

Discussing a book on free time: Hey, did you know this and that happened to this or that person?

Discussing a book in English class: *falls asleep*



Anyone agree with any of this (or likely most if not all of it)?

Well, when I was in school I was lucky enough to have good teachers that focused on the importance of reading critically. And in my Literature classes there were only a handful of kids in each class; all of which were interested in the class.

Being able to deeply understand a book (e.g: understanding symbolism, foreshadowing, etc) is invaluable to really getting the most out of a book, in my opinion. For most people, that only comes from good English and Lit classes.

I see where you're coming from, and I think I felt the same way. I didn't realise the value of those classes until well after school.

English classes are overrated as fuck - I've been to some rather "advanced" English/Literature classes at university already. Maybe because I'm inherently biased; I don't know. I've found Literature professors to all be rather arrogant and fucking annoying in their attitude.. what is right, what is wrong, what is the corret/incorrect way to read a book? Study literature? Subjective ramblings of the human mind?

Maybe most people are rather stupid, so they need these people to tell them how to do it. I don't know. In my experience, if you don't agree with what the majority of the Literature professors believe/think, then you're in a world of trouble, if you want a good grade, that is. I'm not reading anything to please some self-entitled shithead who knows nothing about serious academics... like science, mathematics, history... 

So what do I think about the "value" of those classes? Non-existent, governed by pompous, snarky, arrogant tools. I learned the basics of writing an academic research paper in AP history - nothing to do with literature studies. I learned how to think critically in mathematics/science - nothing to do with literature classes. I learned to enjoy novels and deep, rich literature on my own time - nothing to do with literature classes, once again. 

I'm so sick of the snobbish attitude of inherent superiority displayed by Literature professors and majors. 

Here is what my favorite author has to say about the subject, at least some of it:





So your profs disparage contemporary literary fiction as a socially inert, in-group exercise? They encourage students to infiltrate and rewrite popular culture, rather than emulate the works they teach? They tell you that essay writing trains you, not how to think critically, but how to avoid it, which is to say, how to better rationalize? Of course not. The thing to realize about ‘critical thinking’ in the humanities is that it’s pretty much the same as it is everywhere else: rhetorical window-dressing. We’re hardwired to sell ourselves as special, and English profs are no exception, save that ‘criticality’ is one of their most coveted badges.

The tide is changing, I have no doubt of that, but the ‘precious types’ still run pretty much everything from the awards to the funding, let alone the classroom. If you know of a clique of like-minded prof. despisers please point me to them, because I’ve felt like a madman in the wilderness for long, long time now!

-Richard Scott Bakker

My english teacher does not reserch the material or read the essays submitted, he just skims them looking for key phrases he makes up and does not bother to tell the class until after the evaluation. I'm pretty pissed,as English has always been one of my best subjects, and I scored in the top 1% on the english section of the PSAT, but now, I'm not even passing.

@ anarmypig

Are you talking about a high school class?

I can relate to that, we did get to choose our own books for Norwegian class though. Still interpretating poems and shit like that is not something I ever benefited from.


i have only had 2 good literature teachers. rest of them just force fed pointless shit down my throat. best literature teacher ever had us go outside and read under trees during class.

Lol reminded me of a family guy scene... A woman walks up to an old american author (I dont remember who) and asked what hes doing and he replies "ruining 9th grade for everyone".