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Jake Wade, PhD

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Literary anemia
1/27/2012 2:43:50 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

What has happened to the love for literature and the use thereof in training our young people?
The observations of a 70 year old literature buff. I read constantly and am appalled at the absence of such exercise by our youth. I still teach in my college (all ages above 8 years of age) and I stress reading and literature. Our courses include the giants of English and American literature. The majority of our students come to us unacquainted with and unfamiliar with the "art" of reading for pleasure, let alone for information.
It would seem, to this ancient philosopher, that a combination of the following facts are in evidence:
1. Public school curriculum no longer stresses the reading of the famous works of Shelley, Keats, Frost, Herman Melville, etc. but have gotten disgustingly "cutesy."
2. TV.
3. Internet games.
4. Cell phones.
This, of course, is the short list, but it is enough. Our college's high school program gets 16 and 17 year old kids from the public schools that cannot read. There is no imputed (by good teaching) desire to read. Where is the excitement of discovery of a technical work, the information about our roots from history books, or the sheer joy of anticipation for the climax of a good mystery novel, let alone the spiritual uplift of Bible study?
Our nation now fails to adequately compete in the academic arena with many third world countries. We no longer out produce most of the world. And our technology is apparently more keen on games and porn than on improving production and family quality.
We who write and appreciate the value of the written word had better influence all the folks which we can while there is yet a chance to return to literacy!

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More Blogs by Jake Wade, PhD
•  Literary anemia - Friday, January 27, 2012  

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