Monday, May 23, 2005

Calvin & Hobbes & High School Required Reading

I have between now and October to attempt to justify buying the hardback slipcovered Complete Calvin and Hobbes collection. I don't think I'm going to be able to do it since we own most of the books in paperback, but dang, this collection is so pretty. . .

R. has signed up for two classes here this first summer session. She's having to reread 1984 and Brave New World for a philosophy class she taking and The Iliad for History of Greece. She's also finally having to read Oedipus Rex.

We were talking a few days ago about what she'd had to read in high school. Being in IB, she missed lots of British and American staples anyone else would have been expected to study, as well as portions of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and, of course, Oedipus.

I'm trying to remember the books I was assigned to read in high school. Before 9th grade I'd never been assigned a single one—some years we were supposed to read selections on color-coded cards and answer questions, some years we read from a textbook.

What I can remember being assigned:

Romeo and Juliet
The Pigman
Huck Finn
Lord of the Flies
portions of Edith Hamilton's Mythology
Julius Caesar
Native Son
The Pearl
Old Man and the Sea
Oedipus Rex
Scarlet Letter

The Red Badge of Courage
Moby Dick
The Great Gatsby
Crime and Punishment
The Stranger
The Glass Menagerie
The Crucible
The Grapes of Wrath
Brave New World
(for those of us who'd already read 1984)

I wrote research papers on J. D. Salinger's Glass family and Kafka's The Castle. I can remember giving an oral report on Michener's Centennial and chosing vocabulary words from All the President's Men for another assignment. Anything else I read, I'm pretty sure I read outside class.

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