Geez, I really struggled in school. So when my daughter showed me a video recently - posted on Facebook by my sister - wee tears sprang to my eyes. How I wish I had had the gumption to state aloud that an exam result shall not define my fate. Or my worth, in my case...
And then a whole lot of stuff started whirling around inside my head about schooling. I've been trying to stay positive when presented with the query "why do I have to learn this!!!" flung in my face during homework. It's tough. And: I hate homework. I already DID homework!!
We read Wuthering Heights in high school. Grade 12 if I remember correctly. I slogged through that book, not understanding a single syllable that Kathy's family's gardener uttered. After a while I would just skim his parts and hope that whatever he said would be illuminated contextually at a later point.
(Luckily my English teacher read aloud the gardener's parts in full brogue. Suddenly the jibberish made some sort of sense!)
Then there was Shakespeare - one play a year. Another slogfest. I never knew how funny, romantic, current, lewd... heck - downright entertaining! - his plays could be until I saw them in action either in play form or a movie.
My son is at the slogfest stage now. Although he says that they don't just sit in class and take turns destroying the various characters by reading aloud. I'm not sure exactly how they do it, but given how much different his other subjects have changed since I was in high school I'm sure Bill isn't spinning quite so fast in his grave these days.
Thanks to one of my cousins, my kids have been priviledged enough to experience Shakespeare as a really funny play long before now. This cousin acts in a company that modernizes Shakespearean plays all the while staying true to the text. She was in their production of Henry V last summer, and her own 8 yr old son ended up knowing great swaths of the play verbatim.
Just the other day, my son announced that he felt sorry for his cousin... saying that all he's known so far is how funny and entertaining Shakespeare can be.
"Once he gets to high school, he won't even recognize these plays! ... he's in for a rough time..."
So maybe I've been lucky to suffer through the poorly read production of The Merchant of Venice, and Hamlet et al and then be illuminated. I can't imagine how it would be the other way.
Hopefully by the time my cousin's son is in high school, the curriculum will have evolved even more.