Forget what the calendar says -- summer is over. At least it is for me and my family.
Just a few minutes ago my boys trotted off, not-so-happily, for their first day of first and third grade. My wife teaches at the same Catholic school they attend so that means for the first time in nearly three months I am alone on my days off from work.
At the risk of sounding selfish and uncaring, let me say ... "Boy am I glad."
Don't get me wrong I love my family and the time we get to send each summer, but by mid August I'm itching to get my Thursdays and Fridays back. Jennifer supports my writing and never complains when I spend time writing, but one hour alone in an otherwise empty house beats five or six hours with SpongeBob in the background and the slamming of doors and what not.
Right now the only sound in the place is the clicking of my keyboard and the droning buzz of a gimoungous fly. Soon as i finish this post me and the fly will do battle. Though I should probably keep him around sine I plan to work on my Feedstore Chronicle Memoir. Flies were pretty standard there so who knows maybe that fly is my muse. Of course flies are attracted to manure so if it really is my muse 'tis no wonder all my recent writing has stunk.
My last post was about my messages on twitter and I received several questions about one tweet in particular. This one ... I don't even know what TAT is, but given the goods it's normally traded for, it's some mighty valuable stuff.
For those enquiring minds the tat I was referring comes from the saying ... Tit for tat.
One more nuggett on the back to school front. Last week I stopped in Barnes and Noble to pick up Richard Russo's latest, That Old Cape Magic and while in the store i stopped to peruse the various school's required reading table.
Many of the old standards were once again being assigned, To Kill A Mockingbird, 1984, Of Mice and Men, and the like. there were a few title I'd never heard of so I picked them up and read a few pages to see what they were about. But then I spotted one in particular that bothered me.
Right there on the table and list for the Amarillo Independent School District was none other than the tale of the glittering Vampires, Twilight.
Don't get me wrong. I am not one of those twilight bashers. I have not read but a few pages of any of the series. My wife loved them and with her I watched the movie. I tip my hat to Stephanie Meyer for delivering a winner to her intended audience and for creating a buzz that encouraged millions of people to actually sit down and read.
Here's my issue. I feel it is the responsibility of schools and teachers to choose books that one, make some sort of social commentary, or two showcase the very best writing techniques and skills. Pardon me for saying so I do not believe Twilight falls in either category.
To my way of thinking Twilight is the equivalent of surrender. It is pandering to the very kids the teachers are supposed to educate and reveal new things to. Lots of the kids have already read the book, the ones that haven't probably aren't going to or they already would have done so. They'll rent to movie and write their paper on that so why pick such a popular contemporary book?
To me it smacks of laziness. I imagine some teacher or group of teachers needing one more book for the curriculum and instead of seeking one out saying with a dismissive wave of their hand, "Oh we'll read Twilight for the last one. The kids won't complain about that one."
Pandering I say, but I'm open to dissenting opinions so let me have them.