Booking Through Thursday asks:
I am paraphrasing from a friend’s Facebook wall her question:
“How would a teen-age boy who is going to work with his hands ever use Literature of England in his work?”
The age-old “How am I going to use this in real life?” question. How would you answer it?
Very interesting question with, of course, multiple answer approaches.
I have to channel my 11th-grade English teacher a little here, because the vague question amuses me. When I wrote essays in high school, he brutally used his pen to scratch any mention of “this.” This what? He would ask, and he would waste class time to lecture us every time he encountered it. “Explain yourself. This what?”
So this question brings back memories of that guy, his eccentric hatred of the word, and I think I know why he disliked it so much. This what? How will I use what in real life? The knowledge I gained from literature, both instructional and cumulative? The stories I enjoyed? The act of reading (closely)? Or just books in general?
Let’s insert them one by one into the question and answer them. The answers overlap in their most basic ways, such as to expand knowledge base or to connect, but each one highlights a different application of literature. To me, at least.
Booking Through Thursday asks:
Even I read things other than books from time to time … like, Magazines! What magazines/journals do you read?
This is my first Booking Through Thursday meme question and I’m excited to partake in such an interesting practice: weekly memes! What an ingenious way to keep the blog engine running in between my reviews!
Of course the question is somewhat-but-not-really-book-related. I always come up short when not talking about books, but here is my list of non-book types of things I read:
- Cosmopolitan. What I always find odd is that magazines will send their mags out way before the month that the issue is supposed to cover. For example, I have already “read” Cosmo’s February issue. How can that be when it’s not even February yet? This becomes even more preposterous when you consider all the trends that it lists (new makeup! new hot steals! new things to try this month!) are a month early. Wait a minute! You mean, February’s hot steals are really January’s hot steals?! That’s right. You read it here first. Also, I don’t subscribe to this magazine. I peruse my roommate’s copy.
- The NY Times. When I was a freshman in college, I took a class that, kidding aside, changed my life. I loved it and I loved my professor more, who was a bitingly witty woman who dispensed her jokes in between her serious lectures, so much so that it was difficult to tell when she was joking or when she was lecturing. The class as a whole could never figure it out, so I always felt that extra bond with her when I tittered by myself, convinced I was the smartest student for having got her asides. Anyway, she told me I should read this paper everyday. I listened. I am a better person because of it.
- The Wall Street Journal. Fast-forward to my senior year, I took another class, which in its own way, changed my life too but definitely not for the better. My professor was interesting. He definitely loved his subject, but when he was joking, I never understood why he thought that was funny. I was perpetually puzzled by his humor. But he told me I should be reading the Journal every day. I call it reading when I scan the headlines randomly once a month.
And now, a bit of a visual:
These two are always duking it out, this time for my love. I mean look, their presentations are even screaming it. The Times is white and the WSJ is black. How much more proof of a rivalry do you need?