Monday, August 26, 2013

"Your mom goes to college" - Napolean Dynamite

My kids now have the opportunity to quote Napolean Dynamite on a daily basis as their mom now goes to college. Yep! I am going back to school after being out of the classroom setting for the past 12 years. Today was my first day of school and I was so excited I tried to take a picture of myself with my backpack on in front of a tree of our house. I was going to post it to facebook, hoping I had a big cheesy grin to join the loads of first-day-of-school posts. But for some reason I didn't think it would be as cute as the kiddo photos. Anyway, I enjoyed my first class, and being the Hermione Granger student that being our of college for 12 years has made me want to be, I was fully prepared with books and all, having already read most of the material. As excited for school as I am, I am not as excited about some of the material we are reading. We are focusing on the form and technique of main stream fiction short stories. This means we are reading short stories about everyday life, but at times, at it's ugliest. Almost all of the reading has very harsh swearing, and the main ideas or points of the stories, are down right depressing. As you know, I lead a fairly fantasy life approach to reading, so this type of material is new for me. Okay, I have read books with profanity in them before, but I try to avoid them, and I certainly don't enjoy them. Anyway, I thought reading the stories was going to be my only problem, but as class started today, the professor informed us that we would be reading aloud many of the stories in class. I immediately saw my dilemma. I have no problem changing swear words in my head when I am reading them silently, but changing them to something else when reading aloud is going to be an adventure. Today we took turns reading paragraphs from the short story. As chance would have it, I was the only reader who had a nice fat "f" bomb in the opening line. Well, of course I didn't say it, but changed it. I saw a couple of heads turn in my direction when I didn't swear, but my changing the word did not change the meaning or main point of the story, once again reiterating to me the knowledge that profanity is NOT necessary in making a story more real, or alive, or genuine. But in fact detracts from the message and purpose of the story. I'm sure I will have many other opportunities to stand for truth and justice in my class in regards to the useless need for swearing in literature. Regardless, I am really happy to be back in school. I hope all of you are well and that none of your kids are having similar experiences with profanity in their classroom environments. And if any of your kids want to use the line "Your mom goes to college!" make sure they make Kips face when saying it. (If you don't know what I'm talking about about, go watch Napolean Dynamite.)

1 comment:

  1. Good for you, Angie! I hope I would have the guts and strength of integrity like that. And I am so jealous! I told my kids how lucky they were to be heading back to school. They looked at me like I was crazy.