Friday, September 14, 2007

What were my teachers thinking?

This has been a hard topic for me. I have literally wracked my brain for novels I read for high school. I am not kidding when I say that I am POSITIVE we didn't read any. I remember reading The Outsiders and Johnny Tremain, but those were both in middle school. The only thing I ever remember reading in high school is lots of short stories. High school wasn't THAT long ago, and I'm positive I would remember if any novels were assigned. They weren't. This makes me very angry now that I realize what I missed out on. Of course, I wouldn't have appreciated any of them back then, but still, I should have been forced to read some classics. I browsed the web site of my high school in full I'm-so-going-to-write-an-angry-letter but was happy to see that there are now required readings lists full of names like Austen and Fitzgerald. It's nice to know that today's teens are being forced to read these books even if they don't appreciate it. Okay, I'm done.

One of the short stories that we read always stuck with me. It literally made me sick to my stomach when we read it, and to this day, I think the teacher who assigned it wasn't quite all there. Anyway, it was called THE LOTTERY by Shirley Jackson. It is based in a small town that seems very quaint and lovely. Everybody knows everybody and they aren't shy about lending a hand to help their neighbor. It sounds like the kind of place where everybody wants to live, right? Oh, wait, I forgot to mention that once a year they put everyone's name in a box and pick out the winner of the lottery. But you don't win money in this lottery. Oh, no, you get stoned to death by your friends and family because they think that the lottery is what keeps order and properity in the town. And you thought where you live was bad...

A few years ago, I stumbled across a movie on Lifetime based on the short story. The story line still made me sick to my stomach, but Dan Cortese was in it, so I stuck it out. I do love me some Dan. UPDATE: In an ironic twist of fate, I just found out that today is Dan's birthday! Happy birthday, Dan Cortese, you hottie!

Has anyone else read The Lottery or seen the movie?



Revenge of the Homecoming Queen, OUT NOW!

Books I read this summer:
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro

The Dream Factory by Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler

Beauty Shop for Rent by Laura Bowers

Disenchanted Princess by Julie Linker

The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

The Celebutantes by Antonio Pagliarulo

The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney by Suzanne Harper

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Fowler

You had me at Halo by Amanda Ashby

Ninety Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper & Cecil Murphey

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (again)

And I know there were more that I can't remember!


TinaFerraro said...

A-ha, Steph, so this week's topic has brought you some angst, as well. I'm not annoyed by the number of required reading books from my school days, but at the poor choices as far as true "classics" AND interesting.

I have to say, though, that I did read "The Lottery" (in JH, I think) and it made the same lasting impression on me. Good to hear a movie was made. The other one I'll never forget is "The Necklace". Did anyone read that one?

Melissa Blue said...

I don't remember many books,but a lot of plays. Overall here's the list I can recall: Death of a Salesman, Macbeth, Hamlet, Raisin in the Sun, Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, Beowulf (sp), The Odessy(sp). I'm sure I'm missing a whole lot. Aside from Lord of The Flies I read plays in high school.

Heather Davis said...

Yes! I not only read "The Lottery" I played a towns-person in a play version of it when I was a freshman. (Read: extra!)

I also read "The Necklace" -- I think it's by Guy DeMaupassant? Not sure of the spelling and too brain-fried to look it up right now... but it had a great twist at the end!



Anonymous said...

Did anyone read the The Gift Of The Magi by O'Henry?


stephhale said...

I haven't read The Necklace. Isn't the movie, Gremlins, based loosely on The Gift of the Magi or am I just loosing my mind? Probably the latter. :0)

alexgirl said...

Awesome book list (even though Back Talk isn't on it! LOL). Tina's book was super cute, and I loved Water for Elephants.
I don't think I ever read The Lottery, but I totally remember that made for TV movie! hah. Dan Cortese and Felicity--stellar.

Jana Armstrong said...

"The Lottery" hooked me. Junior year Advanced American Lit. That's one of the reasons I became an English major in college, (and "A Rose for Miss Emily").