Now I Remember Why I Didn’t Like School

I’m digging my Intro to Spanish Literature class, but I am also disappointed. I take special care in learning to the best of my ability every new word, subtlety and nuance. So, sue me, I thought that’s what the class was going to be about. Sure, we’d engage in lively debate, but our instructor was going to explain to us the literary devices used in each story, and how we could use what we’ve read to bolster our own working vocabularies, to make our own language more powerful.

We don’t even get lively debate. What we really do is sit there, while our instructor reads verbatim the questions at the end of the story, and waits for someone to answer. Most of them are yes or no questions, or ask, “What color are the socks as they are mentioned in paragraph two of the story? Comment.”

Most of this I’m not even making up.

The adults are infinitely more engaged than the kids in the class, which confirms my belief that education is wasted on the young. As engaged as the adults are, however, maybe we need help formulating our ideas. So they fall to the floor with a loud thud, as our instructor moves to the next question.

I thought that the woman who asked why the immigration officials just happened to have a parrot-sized electric chair on hand was a great question. The problem is, what came out was more like, “How electric chair in airport yes no why?”

“Eh, no sé,” said our instructor. Next question.

These week’s story is Fastolph Overhill’s* “The Number 24,” the story of a doctor’s failed attempt to escape from Cuba. What’s freaking me out about this story is, if I understand it correctly, all he did was formulate his plan in his mind, and he was still arrested.

There are so many things to talk about in this story, like the paranoia, the brainwashing, the mind control employed by the Revolution. It makes me wonder just what all these people were fighting for.

Here are the first two questions.

1. How many people appear in the first paragraph of the story. Do they all have the same profession? Explain.

2. Is the narrator one of these characters? Does he have a name and or last name? Is he an important or unimportant character in the story? Why? Comment.

I have to change my perspective. This class to me from now on is nothing more than a supplement to these great stories. It can only help.

But I might suggest that they change the name from “Introduction to Spanish Literature” to “Total Immersion Brain Drain.”


About katiekelly

I grew up in a parking lot.
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4 Responses to Now I Remember Why I Didn’t Like School

  1. As I teacher, I can say with confidence, that bad teachers are really annoying to be around!

  2. katiekelly says:

    The class has gone through a miraculous turn around, and I have to say, taking this class is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, if you don’t mind me patting myself on the back. We didn’t follow the book at all, and our instructor asked thought provoking questions. I was amazed and impressed with how passionately people felt about things, and how well they expressed themselves. Let’s say, I took lots of notes. It’s hard enough expressing myself in English in front of groups. Doing so in Spanish is a whole ‘nother level.

  3. Andrea says:

    Perdoname, si no me equivoco, el escritor del cuento. “El Numero 24”, es Emilio Mozo. Estoy de acuerdo con Katie. Como era que la policia supieron del plan del doctor cuando no le habia contado a nadie.

  4. katiekelly says:

    No te equivocas, el escitor es Emilio Mozo. Tuve que cambiar el nombre (usando el Hobbit Name Generator, cómo no) porque temía que miembros de la clase — aún peor, el profesor — leyeran mis críticas después de una búsqueda del autor en Google. Qué horror, porque la clase es buena, aunque a veces con el ámbito de muerte. Es que no tengo ganas de cambiar mi post. Obviamente, todo el mundo puede saber ahora. Vale. ¡Hola clase! 🙂

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