I cannot read enough. Seriously. I would like to be a super-speed reader, but, at the same time, I want to be able to take notes on what I'm reading and take the time to digest it all if not put the ideas into practice.
However, I'm currently at a point where I'm reading so much, so quickly that I'm lucky to get a few notes down.
I've been reading from Derek Owens's Composition and Sustainability: Teaching for a Threatened Generation (2001), and here are a couple of excerpts that stood out to me:
Some complain, of course, that a few of the assigned readings are “boring” or not as entertaining as they would like. My response to this is that as a culture we already have more entertainment than we know what to do with, and besides, the classroom is a place not for entertainment but for discovery and enlightenment. Consequently it matters not whether the information one encounters is or isn’t entertaining; what counts is what one manages to construct from the interaction with that information—a concept that, admittedly, some students have trouble with, conditioned as they are by previous classroom encounters with teachers for whom pedagogy is largely a matter of performance. (179)
This I love so much because I kind of hate the idea that everyone must be entertained at all times. This assumes that everyone is entertained by the same things, and, well, we're not. I remember sharing some reading with a group a few years ago and hearing back that, "It was really boring, v." Honestly, I was a little heartbroken, because I hadn't found the selection boring at all. We all went on to have a decent conversation about the text, anyhow, though, and I really appreciated being able to work past that initial "it's boring" reaction. I think it shows maturity on the part of the group to whom I'd presented the text.
Also from Composition and Sustainability:
If you are like most people, for the next four or five decades you’re going to be working. And if you’re like most students, getting the job or career you want is a major reason you’re in college in the first place. (For many people it’s the only reason.) We might say, then that for many people college is an elaborate (and certainly expensive) job prep ritual: in other words, you need to “go through” college to get your degree, which is a necessary prerequisite for many of the jobs students desire. (201)
College as job prep ritual. I wish I could disagree with this, but Owens goes on to talk about how so many people are expected to be college educated but aren't actually given much in the way of real job prep during their college careers.
(Also, I have many, many years to go. Geez.)