Why Schools Can’t Afford To Replace Fiction with Non-Fiction

  • You’ve probably figured out by now that I love literature. I love reading good books. Even when a class is forcing me to read, if the book is good, I love it. If not for school, I wouldn’t have read All Quiet on the Western Front or Macbeth or “Blackberry Picking.”

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Poetry Friday: “Flying at Night” by Ted Kooser

Every so often, I’ll come across a poem that sort of sticks around in my mind. It’s not that I memorize it on purpose or read it so many times that I may as well have memorized it. The poem just buries itself in the back of my head and comes up, unbidden, every now and then.

“Flying at Night” is one of those poems. I came across it in sixth grade English class, and it’s stuck around with me. The rhythm of it pleases me, and every time I happen to be in an airplane at nighttime, the lines float around in my head.

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The MoMo Method: How I Read Books, and Why

In which I outline the origin and reason (madness?) behind the way I read books.

A little less than two years ago, I was reading Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. The book follows the life of a barber living in a tiny Kentucky town. Since the book is the tale of someone’s entire life, it’s long. 363 pages long. Not only is it long, it’s also dense, full of stories and people and long internal monologues that will make you cry and laugh and want to become a farmer.

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Poetry Friday: “Blackberry Picking” by Seamus Heaney

In Texas, nature hates you.

If you walk barefoot across a field, you are certain to get bitten and/or stabbed by at least three angry bugs or plants. If you scour the bushes for something edible, you’ll be lucky if you come across one dewberry. More likely, you’ll find poison ivy and a thorny vine.

When I visited Oregon, Canada, and Michigan, I was surprised to discover that nature doesn’t hate you. You can walk across a field barefoot, and the clover-covered ground is springy and comforting. Berry bushes pop up everywhere–Marion berries, salmonberries, blueberries, blackberries, black raspberries–without you even looking for them.

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