This is split into two parts because it got very long. The first part is about why I hated writing. It has little to nothing to do with blogging.
If you're like me, you hated English or Literature or anything which might ever require writing in classes in high school. They inevitably involved writing about subjects which were uninteresting and only slightly less often, unwanted. It was a cruel joke when teachers would offer a selection of topics. This simultaneously gave the false hope of a desired topic and admitting that there are some topics which we enjoy less than others. I wasn't exactly bad at writing. My grades were more than adequate. But I didn't enjoy it in the slightest. Writing meant spending time researching something I didn't care about, writing about something I didn't care about, and then getting criticized by the person who caused this whole problem in the first place. Writing sucked.
The other day I got my GRE scores. They were uh, quite good. The highest in terms of being better than a certain percent: analytical writing. I know, shocking, they think I know how to write analytically. Second highest: verbal. Quantitative wasn't low, but in high school if you asked if I liked math or writing more, I'd have said math. I might have also laughed at the suggestion that writing was even in the running. Writing sucked.
Things got better in college. For one, I no longer had to write about absolutely pointless historical nothings which have been picked over a thousand times before. Oh sorry, history was the least of the problems, at least history had facts and some attempt to find an objective reality. I think the Great Gatsby should be made mandatory reading for everyone and at the end everyone is required to say "That was an interesting story. I wonder if it meant anything else?" And then they must sign legally binding agreements which say "no." Symbolism can be fun. It's a delightful thing to find. Double, triple, even quadruple meanings can be great as a way to add, let's call it reread value. To find something new the second, or tenth, time I read is enjoyable. I like that. Less fun is when the reading isn't actually enjoyable, at least not for a typical, or even atypical high school student, making even the first pass nearly unbearable, but during this being required to find, identify, interpret, and memorize, the dozens, or in the case of the Great Gatsby, hundreds per page, of symbols and analogies and oh for fucks sake there was some term we were always using which I must have blanked out because I was so sick of it.
I don't think people who love literature should be allowed to teach it. They have entirely unreasonable expectations. Their passion is wasted and counter-productive. I think instead literature should be taught by people who have a mild interest in textual analysis and like to read before bed, but aren't particularly wedded to any given interpretation of a text, nor should they have any training whatsoever in activities such as "deconstruction", whatever the hell that means.
What I'm trying to say is that I'd have rather classes included more "have you noticed this?" or "here's a new way to read this", and no hint at all of "if you didn't see this then you are stupid." In related news, my hatred of American Literature class was meant to be an introductory paragraph, not what I'm sure will turn out to be the majority of this post. I'm pretty sure I'd fail if I wrote a paper like this. Well too bad.
On the plus side, one of the girls in front of me in class was pretty hot.