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9 Books That Make You Undateable

9 Books That Make You Undateable | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
There's a lot of red tape to cut through before completely committing to a relationship: There's the ex talk, the meeting of the parents, and if you're a literature nerd there's the unavoidable conversation about your respective favorite books.

 

 

__________

Bibliophiles will get a kick out of this.

 

Haven't been single in "several" decades, but there's something intriguing about this article. On the surface, it appears to be rather light in intent, but there's much to think about at the same time. 

 

There is some truth in it's premise that our literary lives might truly play an interesting role in our search for that Mr. or Ms Right.

 

Can't help but wonder what titles would be included in an article that lists books that make you truly dateable or worthy of serious consideration as that Mr. or Ms Right someone is looking for.

 

Also wondering what variations of this concept might be engaging for not only pre- and neo-bibliophiles but also for reluctant readers.

 

Anything to encourage pausing and thinking about what makes reading a go-to activity in this "anything goes" world of ours.

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
An Educator's Reading List of Contemporary Literature, Literacy, and Reading Issues. Visit us at http://www.GoogleLitTrips.org
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Why Are We Embarrassed To Have Guilty Pleasure Reads?

Why Are We Embarrassed To Have Guilty Pleasure Reads? | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Why are we so precious about what we read? Admitting to a guilty pleasure TV shows is the stuff of Cool Girl celebrity profiles. Plenty of brilliant women are open about the "Real Housewives" backlog on their DVRs, but loving un-literary bo...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

26 November 2014

 

PREFACE: When I began writing this blog, I had no idea that it would wind up being a Thanksgiving appreciation for the efforts of so many teachers with whom I have been blessed to know and work with for what is now the last 46 years.

_____

 

Now about that article...

 

Yes! Why do we feel this way? The answer is that somewhere along the line, we've come in contact with "junk lit" scorn. Okay, I just made up that term. Can it be "Lit" and "Junk" simultaneously? My mom had a more direct term when I expressed early interest in Mad Magazine. She called it "garbage" which I came to believe was the polite synonym for my father's term, "crap."

 

This is not to say that they did not encourage me to read. I was a pretty dedicated reader early on. Regular trips to the library that involved a 20 mile round trip journey; permission to check out any book I wanted without question granted, perhaps on the assumption that libraries wouldn't have "garbage" or "crap" available for kids to check out. 

 

(no segue/transition intended)

 

I've often downplayed my enthusiasm for Chanukah's eight days of gifts; citing new socks as a bad day for Chanukah. But, the one Chanukah tradition I cherished was the sure fire gift that I knew was  coming every year was the World Almanac. To me it represented hours and hours of interesting "trivia" ahead. I couldn't wait to dig into this goldmine of fascinating information. Though I knew my first stop would be the sports section where I'd explore all sorts of sports records, I also knew that "one thing would lead to another" and before long, I'd be exploring all sorts of areas for which I had not previously found reasons to find interesting. But I did NOT read the almanac so voraciously to learn. I read it because it was so interesting. Learning was a by-product.

 

I loved my parents. I loved their encouragement for me to be a reader. But, when I discovered Mad Magazine I could not help but become deceitful and ashamed of myself every time I went to my friend's home and devoured his collection of Mad Magazines that his parents, also wonderful parents; apparently did not have such objection to as my parents had.

 

I believed that my mom and dad were good and caring parents. I didn't really question their beliefs on the matter. I just figured that Mad Magazine's uniquely edgy brand of comic book must be at the heart of their concern. So, I felt embarrassed and ashamed that I had begun to resort to a kind of deception that in my heart I could find no way to justify.

 

For the most part, I willing read the stories my teachers asked us to read. They ranged in my perception from "interesting" to "okay I guess" to let's just say "not so interesting." I generally liked my teachers and felt that they, like my parents, had my best interests in mind. But, there were sprinkled throughout my school years, "experiences" where I was led to believe that some of my personal reading favorites were not considered by some of my teachers as being worthwhile. Some books I read were not accepted as being "challenging enough" for credit in an outside reading project; even at times when others were considered much "too challenging" for a person of my age. 

 

I even had an experience where my honesty was questioned by a teacher who suspected that I couldn't possibly have read a book that I wanted recorded on my "outside reading" chart. My teacher with a kind, yet sort of suspicious tone wanted to know why in the world I would have chosen to read a book on Jewish participation in the Civil War, pointing out it's clear lack of fitting the pattern of other books I'd already taken credit for in my outside reading. 

 

No. It wasn't the obvious to those who know me. Though raised as a Jew by parents whose own connection to their faith had thinned to the point where they thought it right to give us "some" degree of religious experience. But, that was limited to the high holidays and Sunday School. We rarely went to Sabbath services. I was not destined to be required to have a Bar Mitzvah. Truthfully, I perceived my Judaism as a reason to feel like a "liked outcast" among my friends and classmates. My being Jewish wasn't why I read the book. 

 

But at the same time I didn't want to admit to my teacher that I had not actually CHOSEN to read the book, but rather chose it as the least potentially boring book for my Sunday School teacher's assigned reading. In my naive mind, I thought I'd get in trouble for claiming the book because it didn't really meet my understanding of "a book of my choice." 

 

I was being surreptitious and deceitful. I was in that space where being embarrassed and being ashamed were not distinguishable in my mind. And, I was a good kid. I wanted to be a good kid and I still believed that both my "regular teachers and my "Sunday School" teachers as well as my parents and others like them knew better than I. So the combination of my inherent respect for them and my limited comprehension of pretty much everything, added up to a facet of my love of reading that I believed I really ought to be ashamed of. And this was amplified by my inability to be mature enough to "do the right thing." I found myself borrowing Mad Magazines from my friend, hiding them under my shirt and then between my mattresses so that I could indulge in the the guilty pleasure of reading materials that I knew would greatly disappoint my parents should my deceitful behavior be discovered. I was guilt-ridden but could not stop... and sometimes could not sleep.

 

In middle school (it was called Junior High School in those days), my love of reading served me well. This was not because I was eager to learn. I actually wasn't. I was just a well-behaved kid who was a good reader. 

 

It was then that another factor became "clear" to me. Many of my classmates had not developed a love of reading. Many were obviously struggling readers at best. And, they seemed to be being treated as "bad students" because they were so far behind where "they should be." And, some of those kids, happened to be friends of mine because we'd played a local version of little league together or had been in cub scouts together. And many of those kids had been raised in Mexican or Filipino families with limited incomes and in multi-generational homes where the family's English skills  ranged from fairly competent second language skills to parents with very limited English skills and grandparents without English skills at all. Many even had worked in the nearby fields picking cucumbers or roses to add to the family income while both of their parents worked one or more jobs in the fields or nearby canneries. Reading may have actually been a luxury given either money or English proficiency or their own or their parents' time availability. 

 

Regardless of whatever reasons had existed for those kids who had "fallen behind" in their reading skills, I knew many of them as friends and buddies. And, I knew that like the "good readers, most of them were really nice people and a few of them were not so nice at times.

 

By Junior High School, friendships as well as the fear of bullies, takes on a very influential role in a young boy's "moral compass." 

_____

NOTE: Having neither sisters nor female cousins, I was completely ignorant about how my female classmates most of whom were good readers were influenced by their female classmates who were struggling readers; few of whom were girls. 

_____

 

Those friendships and fears of bullies led me to be quite receptive to peer pressures. Reading books was a subject of teasing from some classmates; friends or foes; struggling or proficient readers. And, I found myself keeping my reading habits to myself and translating my interest into an ever present potential for public humiliation should it be discovered.

_____

 

NOTE: see "OK, Johnny Can Read. So Why Doesn't He?" by Adrian McCoy (http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/2007/08/27/OK-Johnny-can-read-So-why-doesn-t-he/stories/200708270224)

_____

 

Much of my embarrassment/shame/guilt is easy to understand if one considers what the world looks like through the eyes of many typical pre- and pubescent boys. And therein lies what I suppose is the source of my contemplations about this scooped article.

 

Ironically much of the embarrassment, guilt and shame in guilty pleasure reading has roots in the well-intended efforts of those who care most about us; our parents, teachers, and friends. 

 

Those of us who are today parents, teachers, and friends might do well to keep in mind that kids are in the midst of transitioning from the innocence and its inherent naiveté regarding academic interest and receptiveness. And, this transition occurs at very different rates for very many reasons. 

 

Though we who teach literature have in general gotten past such naive understandings of the value of being a reader, we might glance backwards to see whether we, ourselves were struggling students in some "other" area as I had been in math and grammar (as in passing grammar rule tests at least).  I've had multiple experiences with colleagues in the Language Arts department who still harbor beliefs that they just aren't any good at math or science. Or, has quite often been the case while wearing my technology support hat, teachers who express serious discomfort about their ability to "learn about computers." 

 

Perhaps some of my childhood teachers considered me a to be a struggling student even in my English classes. Unlike reading and probably because I had read so much, I figured I could speak English "good enough" and therefore really couldn't find much of reason to find interest in learning the difference between an adverb, adjective, direct object, or dangling modifier. So, those exercises in sentence diagramming were summarily pre-judged as being nothing more than "bafflingly stupid" to me.  It wasn't really the fault of my well-intended English teachers. I never gave grammar a chance. Unlike my love of reading, I never discovered  "perceivable reasons" to find enjoyment in grammar. 

 

I was one of those students who was quick to judge some subjects as interesting and others as boring. And, my report cards generally reflected that youthful lack of maturity. And, too often my lack of interest manifested itself in defense mechanisms that included sarcasm, scorn, and even condemnation and teasing of my fellow students who happened to do well in those subjects.

 

Was I struggling or lazy as a few teachers and counselors suggested? Or was I truly just not very smart? 

 

In retrospect, I wasn't struggling. One has to try to struggle. I just didn't care. I knew I was smart and not without capability. As to being lazy...OK I bought that appraisal. But, try as I might, my interest in being popular by being the friendly class clown seemed to bring me more rewards than being more diligent about my studies in the areas where "just passing" was good enough.

 

I came around eventually.

 

Though I lost my father when I was twelve, there were little league coaches, parents of some good friends who cared enough to fill a bit of the void left by my father's death and my mother's deep grief. And, there were a few great teachers who not just the content they were tasked with bringing to our attention, but who also had mastered art of bringing kids like me through that crazy cocoon of obliviousness that is a boy's life.

 

There were those who thought of me as struggling or lazy, or just not that good at math or grammar or other areas of study. But, there were also those who saw a late bloomer and invested caring in a goofball kid who didn't quite understand his own potential. 

 

And, it is to those teachers in particular that I dedicated my own teaching career where I wanted to be for my own students what Mr. Kay and Ms Fitzgerald, and Mr. Tinling, and Ms Conley, and Mr. Green, and Miss Sai, and other compassionate and caring teachers had been for me.

 

These are among the many reasons why I am thankful on this Thanksgiving day.

 

I hope your Thanksgiving is joyful and that you know that you may well be being remembered fondly today by former students in whose lives you played such an important role. 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit.

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, please consider "Favoriting" GLT Global Ed (dba Google Lit Trips) on our eBay Giving Works page at: http://ebay.to/11vhysK

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How do I search in Google using the reading level filter? | The Spectronics Blog

How do I search in Google using the reading level filter? | The Spectronics Blog | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
The Reading Level feature in Google is a great tool to filter results based on three broad reading level categories: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced.

To access and use...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

24 November 2014

 

Did you know it is possible to search Google by reading level?

 

Once again a confirmation of one of my favorite truisms...

 

"The more you know the more you know how little you know."

 

I've been a fan of Google's advanced search features for some time. Yet I have no idea why I never discovered this feature. 

 

The question is, "How might a teacher employ this feature positively without imposing a potentially negative self-opinion upon students with lesser literacy skills?" 

 

It is certainly an advantage to struggling readers to be able to narrow search results to resources within the reach of a student's zone of proximal development. Yet, at the same time if that student, as is often the case, is already sensitive to having inadequate literacy skills, might it be a delicate balancing act on the part of the teacher to present this skill as an advantage rather than another "negative label" the student attaches to him or herself?

 

Perhaps, the solution is to change the paradigm. The ability to adjust reading level may be as valuable to all students as it certainly would be for struggling readers. I've certainly encountered students with admirable literacy skills finding themselves quite challenged by search results that require advanced degree-level understandings, particularly in the area of "professional jargon." 

 

And, if this is the case, then simply presenting the ability to adjust the reading level results of a Google search as a valuable search tool for anyone might bring difficult text within that student's zone of proximal development. 

 

If I were teaching any material where my students might be expected to do their own research as might be the case in a flipped classroom, I'd be certain to share this "trick" with parents as well. 

 

______________________

For those using Macs, there is similar tool that few people discover on their own. To the right of the Apple menu is a menu with the name of the browser. (Safari, Chrome) In that menu there is a choice called "Services."

 

There are actually many services available here, so if you haven't yet done so, select "Services Preferences..." to indicate which services you want to turn on. Once you've identified the desired services, you will see them in this menu any time you've selected some text on a website. 

 

One of the many services is called "Summarize." Rather than filter the search results by reading level, this allows you to select a level of summarization for any selected text via a sliding bar that reduces the amount of text shown with 100% meaning "show me the text as is," and 1% meaning "reduce the summary as much as possible." 

 

An interesting aspect of Apple's summarization feature is that the summarization whether extensively reduced or minimally reduced, can be saved as a text file, a sticky note, or even as an audio file.

 

Truthfully, I'm not certain how either Google's approach or Apple's approach does what each does. There is no doubt that whatever the algorithms are by which technology can make these determinations, there is room for some doubt. Perhaps similar to computerized translations, we might well keep in mind that these features might have a very valuable place in our students' repertoire of learning skills, while at the same time they may also have limitations in terms of accuracy.

 

I suppose my position would be, "If these tools bring students closer to a greater understanding than they might have had without them, then those students are better off than they would have been had they been confronted with text that was "too frustrating" and therefore less beneficial and perhaps even counter-productive.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

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Brothers in Hope: Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams

Brothers in Hope: Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

12 November 2014

 

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan v4 by Lois Lowry added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

 

Google Lit Trips fans using any of the following Lit Trip titles can upgrade now. All previous versions will become obsolete once the new Google Lit Trips website is launched sometime in the next few months.

 

Pedro's Journal v3 by Pam Conrad

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan v4 by Lois Lowry

Number the Stars v5 by Lois Lowry

We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Fever 1798 v2 by Laurie Halse Anderson

A Small Dog's Big Life v2 by Irene Kelly

Night by Elie Wiesel

The Slave Dancer v5 by Paula Fox

The Kite Runner v6 by Khaled Hosseini

The Grapes of Wrath v7 by John Steinbeck

Flotsam v3 by David Wiesner

Sam Patch Daredevil Jumper v4 by Julie Cummins

Going Home v3 by Margaret Wild

A Walk in London v4 by Salvatore Rubbino

A Family Apart v5 by Joan Lowery Nixon

Abuela v3 by Arthur Dorros

Big Anthony: His Story v4 by Tomie DePaola

Make Way for Ducklings v4 by Robert McCloskey

By the Great Hornspoon v4 by Sid Fleishman

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A New Paradigm for Accountability: The Joy of Learning

A New Paradigm for Accountability: The Joy of Learning | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Whatever you call it, Race to the Top has hurt children, demoralized teachers, closed community schools, fragmented communities, increased privatization, and doubled down on testing. But I have an idea for a new accountability system that relies on d...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

16 November 2014

 

In the Venn Diagram of a circle representing good pedagogy and a second circle representing the impact of attempts to assess the success of existing pedagogies, there are issues that appear to have been thrown into a sort of oubliette.*

 

Whether intended for the betterment of education or for less noble reasons, the question is what is it that is being forgotten and thereby left out of the very important conversation about how to improve education? 

 

Remember that old saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater"?

 

I can't help but wonder whether an application of that wisdom to the Venn diagram would consider assessment to be the baby and existing pedagogical practice the water. Or, whether pedagogical practice is the baby and current assessment is the water.

 

It's a rhetorical question. There is an upside and a downside to both current assessment structures and to current pedagogical practice. 

 

Truthfully, to frame the question such is Jesuitical.** 

 

I'd propose that what is best for educational reform is NOT a black and white issue. To see it as such is simplistic whether one takes the side of any of the article's mentioned attempts to improve education or one takes the side of any of the critics of those attempts to improve education. 

 

I'd prefer to think of the situation as having to bathe two babies who happen to be siblings. What would you consider worth cleansing and worth disposing of in the CURRENT assessment structures baby? And similarly what would you consider worth cleansing and worth disposing of in the current pedagogical practices baby?

 

And, what would be a realistic plan to save the best of both babies while eliminating the dirty waters in which both currently exist that is not a plan merely built upon little more than a Panglossian*** brand of optimism? 

 

What has been thrown into the oubliette are the many forgotten (overlooked) shades of gray that deserve to NOT be forgotten (or summarily dismissed by proponents of either side). 

 

I will leave the question of which baby is "less dirty" than the other. I'll leave it at this; neither is clean enough. Both need serious bathing. But, one is probably dirtier than the other.

 

Annotated ENDNOTES: (or WHY Literary Reading is worthwhile)

 

* My first encounter with the word "OUBLIETTE" came when I first read Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.


 "An oubliette (from the French oubliette, literally "forgotten place") was a form of dungeon which was accessible only from a hatch in a high ceiling. The word comes from the same root as the French oublier, "to forget", as it was used for those prisoners the captors wished to forget." 

 

** It should be recognized that this definition of a "JESUITICAL ARGUMENT" itself has proponents and opponents. I recognize the controversy. Though in this commentary, I'm referring to a common use of the term that takes the following position.

 

“In order to be successful, the Jesuitical Argument must be  pursued articulately, aggressively and forcefully, but perhaps not always sincerely – indeed, the most effect Jesuitical must at times be cunningly downright deceitful – mixing emotional half-truths and rhetoric into the answer."  

 

*** Thanks to having read Candide by Voltaire I came to understand an important distinction between the optimism of the likes of Ghandi, Martin Luther King jr,, and Mother Theresa and those who simply put on a pair of rose-colored glasses and scorn those who complain and feel no personal obligation to address those complaints

 

PANGLOSSIAN OPTIMISM (see: http://goo.gl/1eL5yo)

 

**** Most people would no doubt(?) be able to construct a fairly accurate understanding of the author's use of "GRADGRIND ACADEMY" without having an awareness of the term's origin. 

 

I'll just suggest that being an English major does provide extremely valuable insights into the extent to which modern issues have existed throughout time.

 

The term actually references Thomas Gradgrind in Hard Times by Charles Dickens. Consider this explanation of a Gradgrind academy from English Literature: A Very Short Introduction, by Jonathan Bate...

_____

"... Gradgrind's academy sought to extirpate children's capacity for wonder, for poetry and imaginary play, in order to prepare them to become factory hands, mechanical cogs in the wheel of Victorian capitalist production. Conversely, the aim of literature teachers in the Leavisite tradition was to create beings of strong feeling and humane understanding. English was often taught with messianic zeal: the study of literature was to be a life-changing and, potentially, a society-changing experience."

_____

 

Who was it who said, "The more things change, the more they remain the same"? 

 

Was that pessimism or a challenge FOR ALL OF US WHO CARE to do better?

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

 

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The REAL Meanings Of These 30 Common Words Will Surprise You

The REAL Meanings Of These 30 Common Words Will Surprise You | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
'Video' means "I see." 'Lady' means "bread-maker." Delving into the origins and etymologies of words often unearths some unexpected stories....
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

12 November 2014

 

Teach roots, prefixes, and suffixes? Here's a list of fairly commonly used words with interesting origins. A close inspections reveals that either the roots, prefixes, and/or suffixes actually give insight into the words etymological development. And, in understanding the origins of words as they are used today, can be, (but too often perhaps, is not) an engagement point for students as is relies upon an almost innate curiosity for the story behind the word rather than merely upon linking a word to it's dictionary definition on a test.

 

A rhetorical challenge...

What other words have historical stories that might make the words more attractive to "know" than the "it will be on the test" incentive??

 

Did you notice that the word "lady" comes from traditional gender-roles that today may be considered sexist?

 

Isn't that HYSTERICAL? (Yes, that was an intentional use of a word many students use without knowing it's origins)

 

What about the word "manufacture"? It's actually defined as "the making of articles on a large scale using machinery." Yet, its origin, as those who speak a bit of Spanish, French, Italian, or Latin  might guess, is, "something made by hand." The irony, of course being that much of today's "manufacturing" is done without the use of actual hands or even humans for that matter.

 

Other words?

 

 

Sometimes it's more successful to teach what makes a word interesting than it is to teach what dictionary definition goes with what word.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

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Aileenexa's curator insight, November 12, 11:12 PM
dfs
Chéri Vausé's curator insight, November 13, 11:01 AM

Every author should have a dictionary on their desk, along with the thesaurus. Using the thesaurus only could cause you to use a word incorrectly, and your writing could be construed as misleading. I recommend the Oxford English Dictionary. The examples themselves are treasures, and they teach us how to use the word, as well as, how it has been used throughout history.

 

I love words. Words are fabulous, wonderful inventions.

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On Reading In Public: 'Close Your Book And Open Your Ears'

The stories I've heard in bars are some of the most entertaining and well-told stories I've ever encountered, better than most any novel or history I've ever read.
Rather than opening a book, simply prick up your ears....
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

9 November 2014

 

UH... I'm without words!

 

An example of the author's depth of superficiality... 

_____

"For those who wish to get out of the house and read a book in the company of others there is already a designated place for this: it's called a library. If my friends and I went to the library with a six-pack and sat down and started drinking and talking, would we not be quickly evicted? Even if I just went to the library by myself and plopped down and cracked open a beer, would I not be tossed straight away? So why shouldn't the same hold true for people reading books in bars?"

_____

REALLY?



A multiple Choice Quiz

Which of the following is the most pathetic?

1. The article's author

2. The editor who thought this was worth publishing

3. Me for bringing attention to the article?

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We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs UPDATED!

We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs UPDATED! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

 

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

7 November 2014

 

We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

 

Google Lit Trips fans using any of the following Lit Trip titles can upgrade now. All previous versions will become obsolete once the new Google Lit Trips website is launched sometime in the next few months.

 

We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Fever 1798 v2 by Laurie Halse Anderson

A Small Dog's Big Life v2 by Irene Kelly

Night by Elie Wiesel

The Slave Dancer v5 by Paula Fox

The Kite Runner v6 by Khaled Hosseini

The Grapes of Wrath v7 by John Steinbeck

Flotsam v3 by David Wiesner

Sam Patch Daredevil Jumper v4 by Julie Cummins

Going Home v3 by Margaret Wild

A Walk in London v4 by Salvatore Rubbino

A Family Apart v5 by Joan Lowery Nixon

Abuela v3 by Arthur Dorros

Big Anthony: His Story v4 by Tomie DePaola

Make Way for Ducklings v4 by Robert McCloskey

Number the Stars v4 by Lois Lowry

By the Great Hornspoon v4 by Sid Fleishman

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Eugene O'Neill At The Ballot Box

From his earliest years of political consciousness, America's foremost playwright Eugene O'Neill regarded our electoral process, in what he saw as an unabashedly unrepresentative democracy, as "the acme of futility."...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

4 November 2014

 

First, I really love this new insight into Eugene O'Neal; an author I've developed quite a bit of respect for in spite of his easy to list shortcomings as a family man. The quote above alone, was enough to catch my attention.

 

And, what an appropriately disturbing quote that is in light of today being election day.

 

The article's next sentence, though I suppose a clear indication of the author's political leanings, certainly raises a question that has troubled me and millions of others who are concerned about the current governmental gridlock that seems to have nearly killed "democracy" as we know it.

 

That quote...

_____

"The Supreme Court's Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions of 2010 and 2014, which together legitimized the bribery of politicians by the .001% as a constitutional right, only doubled-down on what O'Neill had railed against over a century ago."

_____

 

In retrospect, O'Neal's appraisal of the American political scene seems uncomfortably prophetic. Like many in his day, including Jack London, he saw "good reason" to consider the called to socialism. The echoes of the threat to the 1% of the time seems to ring loudly today. 

 

Consider this quote from the article...

_____

It was O'Neill who wrote about the working-class men, about whores and the social discards and even the black man in a white world, but since there was no longer a connection with Marxism in the man himself, his plays were never seen as the critiques of capitalism that objectively they were."

_____

 

What solace there is to those of us attempting to resolve the requirements of both literary reading and informational reading. O'Neal wrote fiction. And, in doing so, brought incredible attention to certain truths that are difficult to face.

 

The article continues and truthfully, becomes so clearly critical of the part of the American Dream that we rarely want to think about, that I'm not certain the risk of facing O'Neal's take on the "harsh realities" of the way he perceived the American Dream in the real world is a worthwhile or safe exploration as we attempt to teach critical thinking. 

 

I did not like O'Neal as a high school student.  I found him far too depressing. Where was the light of hope?

 

I did not object to O'Neal's work being taught in the advanced literature course(s). But, having by choice avoided teaching those courses, I never felt that O'Neal was appropriate for the general population of kids too many of whom, might just not be ready to consider without automatically rejecting, the very harsh realities of of the human condition.

 

As an adult, I've grown to appreciate Eugene O'Neal for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that he actually wrote his best works at his Tao House residence in my home town. I've had several opportunities to visit Tao House and even had one spectacular theater experience having dinner on the lawn in front of his home and then under a real full moon watched a performance of Moon for the Misbegotten just a 100 yards or so from where the play had been written. 

 

shush...

Keep you eyes on this blog! I'm hoping that my 360° walking tour through Eugene O'Neal's Tao House will soon be published online. My first 360° walking tour of a nearby one room school house was just published. Take a look here: 

 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Tassajara+School/@37.8032409,-121.8602942,47m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0xee0b72716b230a7f

 

(you can "walk towards" the building by clicking on the screen and drag the image in any direction on screen with your mouse or via your arrow keys)

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

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Is there a future for the past at Sunset Labor Camp?

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

3 November 2014

 

I'm in the middle of refreshing the Google Lit Trip for Pam Ryan Muñoz's Esperanza Rising; a story with many similarities the John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Both are set during the depression. The latter a tale of poor migrant workers coming to California from Oklahoma; the former a tale of formerly wealthy, now impoverished  migrants escaping the dirty deeds of greedy relatives. Both families wind up for a time at the Arvin Federal Camp outside of Bakersfield, California. 

 

Whether your connection to the "Sunset Labor Camp" (aka Weedpatch and Arvin Federal Camp) comes via John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, Pam Ryan Muñoz's Esperanza Rising or history of the Great Depression, this is an article worth reading.

 

The question is whether it is  important to preserve the remnants of the camp for its historical value? We can guess that there are those who feel its economic value outweighs its historical value.

 

How sad.

 

But, who cares?

 

I do. Do you?

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLItTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

 

 

 

 

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A Small Dog’s Big Life by Irene Kelly UPDATED!

A Small Dog’s Big Life by Irene Kelly UPDATED! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

A Small Dog's Big Life by Irene Kelly added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

1 November 2014

 

A Small Dog's Big Life by Irene Kelly added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

 

Google Lit Trips fans using any of the following Lit Trip titles can upgrade now. All previous versions will become obsolete once the new Google Lit Trips website is launched sometime in the next few months.

 

A Small Dog's Big Life by Irene Kelly

The Slave Dancer v5 by Paula Fox

The Kite Runner v6 by Khaled Hosseini

The Grapes of Wrath v7 by John Steinbeck

Flotsam v3 by David Wiesner

Sam Patch Daredevil Jumper v4 by Julie Cummins

Going Home v3 by Margaret Wild

A Walk in London v4 by Salvatore Rubbino

A Family Apart v5 by Joan Lowery Nixon

Abuela v3 by Arthur Dorros

Big Anthony: His Story v4 by Tomie DePaola

Make Way for Ducklings v4 by Robert McCloskey

Number the Stars v4 by Lois Lowry

By the Great Hornspoon v4 by Sid Fleishman

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Is an Education in the Liberal Arts Important?

Is an Education in the Liberal Arts Important? | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
The results of two separate surveys were announced the week of September 16 that provide very interesting insights into the American job market....
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

31 October 2014

 

The short answer?

NO! An education in the Liberal Arts is NOT Important! It's CRITICAL!

 

The longer comment...

Yes the article makes a case for the value of a Liberal Arts education. You can read that argument yourself.

 

Yet, when reading this and similar articles from non-liberal arts points of view, I can't help but find myself a bit annoyed by the assumption that the two most important criteria for answering the question seem to always include the impact of a liberal arts education on job prospects and on income.

 

Yeah, sure. Those are important. 

 

But, I can't help but in a Pavlov-like response wonder whether the value to quality of life, social well-being, and,... well all of the Third-Metric measures aren't still forced into a step-child role that diminishes the most critical value that a liberal arts degree might have.

 

Try this... 

Pick up an old-fashioned print newspaper (a new-fashioned new site will do) and scan every headline in the front section. Consider placement on the page and headline font size.

 

How many stories did you read that might have been prevented from a serious boost in liberal arts education?

 

So... here's a site I'd have my students checking out for some informational reading.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/third-metric/

 

My traditional farewell to students at the end of a semester of exploring the  the wisdom of the greatest authors was often to ask them to take their care posters down from the wall that their desks faced for the entire semester, to make me one promise that I had no way of verifying. That was that they would take their posters home and NOT decide what to do with them for one week. Just one week. Then if they wanted to trash it, it was a decision they'd have to make. As opposed to the thoughtless dumping of everything in their lockers in the nearest trash can on their way off campus.

 

Then as each left the classroom one at a time (I required this as part of the farewell), I shook each one's hand and said, "Thank you for taking the class. Your being here has made my career choice meaningful. I want to 'kick you out of the castle of Thunder-ten-tronk ala Candide' but before I do, I just want to say that I hope you do well out there, but most importantly to me is that I hope you do good out there."

 

Part of our education system is designed to address the hope that our students do well. Do we do enough to emphasize the need for them to do good?

 

Here are some examples of people who do...

https://www.hellohumankindness.org/ ;

 

Here's to the Liberal Arts!

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED a tax-exempt educational nonprofit.

 

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The Most Popular Words Used In Classic Books (INFOGRAPHIC)

The Most Popular Words Used In Classic Books (INFOGRAPHIC) | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass has a reputation for championing the individual ("I am large, I contain multitudes"), so it's surprising that the most frequently used word in the poem -- "all" -- applies to the collective or univer...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

25 October 2014

 

Interesting! Surprisingly, most words used in classic books by 8 authors are single syllable words. 

 

The word cloud above is from 'To the Lighthouse' by Virgina Woolf. I was pleased to see that the word "thought" was used so frequently that it merited large font size in center stage.

 

Works represented include:

'To the Lighthouse' by Virginia Woolf

'The Old Man and the Sea' by Ernest Hemingway

'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen

'Nineteen Eight-Four' by George Orwell

'Metamorphosis' by Franz Kafka

'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley

'Leaves of Grass' by Walt Whitman

'The Waste Land' by T.S. Eliot

 

hmmm... now how to make an engaging learning experience out of these examples.

 

How about a challenge after reading one of the stories that is essentially a multiple choice quiz (don't think I'd grade it myself) where a selection of 5 or so of the words in the cloud are the choices. 

 

No, this is not a vocabulary lesson as much as it is an exercise in recognizing a bit of the author's style.

 

By the way, the article also includes a link to WordItOut.com where text from Project Gutenberg are used as the data source.

 

Now, a word about Word Clouds...

Do they represent the most important vocabulary or simply the most popular? I'm reminded that "most popular" is not an endorsement. That is unless you actually believe that vanilla IS the best ice cream flavor or Jerry Springer is the most valuable way to spend your TV time.

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit.

 

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Night by Elie Wiesel UPDATED!

Night by Elie Wiesel UPDATED! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

NIGHT by Elie Wiesel just added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

23 October 2014

 

Night by Elie Wiesel added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

 

Google Lit Trips fans using any of the following Lit Trip titles can upgrade now. All previous versions will become obsolete once the new Google Lit Trips website is launched sometime in the next few months.

 

Night v6 by Elie Wiesel

The Slave Dancer v5 by Paula Fox

The Kite Runner v6 by Khaled Hosseini

The Grapes of Wrath v7 by John Steinbeck

Flotsam v3 by David Wiesner

Sam Patch Daredevil Jumper v4 by Julie Cummins

Going Home v3 by Margaret Wild

A Walk in London v4 by Salvatore Rubbino

A Family Apart v5 by Joan Lowery Nixon

Abuela v3 by Arthur Dorros

Big Anthony: His Story v4 by Tomie DePaola

Make Way for Ducklings v4 by Robert McCloskey

Number the Stars v4 by Lois Lowry

By the Great Hornspoon v4 by Sid Fleishman

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis UPDATED!

The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis UPDATED! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

The Watsons Go To Birmingham v4 by Christopher Paul Curtis added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

25 November 2014

 

The Watsons Go To Birmingham v4 by Christopher Paul Curtis added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

 

Google Lit Trips fans using any of the following Lit Trip titles can upgrade now. All previous versions will become obsolete once the new Google Lit Trips website is launched sometime in the next few months.

 

The Watsons Go To Birmingham v4 by Christopher Paul Curtis

Pedro's Journal v3 by Pam Conrad

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan v4 by Lois Lowry

Number the Stars v5 by Lois Lowry

We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Fever 1798 v2 by Laurie Halse Anderson

A Small Dog's Big Life v2 by Irene Kelly

Night by Elie Wiesel

The Slave Dancer v5 by Paula Fox

The Kite Runner v6 by Khaled Hosseini

The Grapes of Wrath v7 by John Steinbeck

Flotsam v3 by David Wiesner

Sam Patch Daredevil Jumper v4 by Julie Cummins

Going Home v3 by Margaret Wild

A Walk in London v4 by Salvatore Rubbino

A Family Apart v5 by Joan Lowery Nixon

Abuela v3 by Arthur Dorros

Big Anthony: His Story v4 by Tomie DePaola

Make Way for Ducklings v4 by Robert McCloskey

Number the Stars v4 by Lois Lowry

By the Great Hornspoon v4 by Sid Fleishman

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Pedro’s Journal by Pam Conrad UPDATED!

Pedro’s Journal by Pam Conrad UPDATED! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

Pedro's Journal by Pam Conrad added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

 

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

22 November 2014

 

Pedro's Journal by Pam Conrad added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

 

Google Lit Trips fans using any of the following Lit Trip titles can upgrade now. All previous versions will become obsolete once the new Google Lit Trips website is launched sometime in the next few months.

 

Pedro's Journal v3 by Pam Conrad

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan v4 by Lois Lowry

Number the Stars v5 by Lois Lowry

We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Fever 1798 v2 by Laurie Halse Anderson

A Small Dog's Big Life v2 by Irene Kelly

Night by Elie Wiesel

The Slave Dancer v5 by Paula Fox

The Kite Runner v6 by Khaled Hosseini

The Grapes of Wrath v7 by John Steinbeck

Flotsam v3 by David Wiesner

Sam Patch Daredevil Jumper v4 by Julie Cummins

Going Home v3 by Margaret Wild

A Walk in London v4 by Salvatore Rubbino

A Family Apart v5 by Joan Lowery Nixon

Abuela v3 by Arthur Dorros

Big Anthony: His Story v4 by Tomie DePaola

Make Way for Ducklings v4 by Robert McCloskey

Number the Stars v4 by Lois Lowry

By the Great Hornspoon v4 by Sid Fleishman

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5 Stunning, Prophetic Quotes From Ursula K. Le Guin's National Book Award Speech

5 Stunning, Prophetic Quotes From Ursula K. Le Guin's National Book Award Speech | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Ursula K. Le Guin, a science fiction author venerated for her poignant diction, gender-bending characters and eerily accurate speculations about politics and technology, was honored for her life's work at the 2014 National Book Awards. Her acceptance...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

20 November 2014

 

What an incredible speech. Every teacher of literacy, literature, and informational reading should watch this video! And, that's coming from someone who is not fond of those who tell me what I "must" watch or "must" read.

 

There  is much more to this six minute speech than is excerpted in the text of the article. And, I think it is well-worth the six-minute investment.

 

Whether it is Le Guin's defense of Sci Fi as a legitimate literary genre or her condemnation of the power of the publishing and marketing industry, or the fact that she makes an extremely disturbing, yet thought-provoking suggestion referencing the selling of slaves down the river, the question I could not help but hear "between the lines" is, 
"What are we, the deliverers of literary education, NOT doing that is unconscionable?" 

 

There are too many incredible quotes to choose as a favorite. However, as a tease, I'll offer this one...

_____

"We need writers who know the difference between the production of a commodity and the practice of an art."

_____

 

I couldn't help but wonder if there's a place for a new literary term to apply to the forces of the current publishing industry's undue influence upon the writer's art.

 

That term?

 

"Pre-Bowdlerize:" To pre-empt writers' ability to get anything published that might be found objectionable by those who might have otherwise purchased the book.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

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The 12 best business books of all time

The 12 best business books of all time | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Reading is the best way to gain experience without having been there yourself.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

14 November 2014

 

Okay, the lead quote above by Dan Dzombak of The Motley Fool, wasn't written by an English major. Not because it has grammatical errors, but rather because it has connotations that suggest that reading is the lazy/passive/sedentary/_____ way to gain without actually doing.

 

Maybe I'm to harsh. Dzombak regains my interest quickly by quoting Warren Buffet's business partner Charlie Munger who said,...

 

_____

"In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn't read all the time -- none, zero. You'd be amazed at how much Warren reads -- at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I'm a book with a couple of legs sticking out." 

_____

THANK YOU. Reading IS a powerful gateway to Wisdom. 

 

Dzombak follows the previous quote with another that got me thinking about reframing my own wording in a few areas. That quote...

_____

"While there are mounds of terrible business books out there, there are some hidden gems."

_____

 

Though I have been attempting to defuse a tendency of some English teachers to resent Informational Reading as an unwelcome interloper, as a de facto imposition upon their desire to emphasize Literary Reading, I have also often referred to one distinction between the two valuable reading areas.  I've promoted Literary Readings' emphasis upon bringing wisdom to the information age as though Informational Reading somehow falls short in the area of offering valuable wisdom to 21st century learners.

 

Yes, there are a lot of crappy business business books out there, as there are a lot of crappy TV shows, movies, and works of fiction out there. But to not give credit to the value of the wisdom and insights of the gems among each of those categories is short-sighted and dangerously simplistic. 

 

Dzombak then proceeds to list 12 business books that combine both Informational reading and wisdom. Among the titles is The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen.

 

Christensen later turned his business insights in the direction of educational reform in Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns.

 

Both books address the difficulty of making change, even in the presence of great new and upcoming pedagogical shifts. 

 

I really found Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns to be one of the very brightest gems of the professional reading that I've done as an educator; much of which, like Dzombak's distinction between the gems and the "mounds of terrible business books, are terrible "education books." And, I got to thinking about informational reading titles. 

 

What are the gems? What are you reading specifically in the area of educational reform that raises the professional and the public discourse in the area of  educational reform above the mediocre and simplistic?

 

What titles are so well written that we've enthusiastically accepted the author's invitation to deepen our understanding and to even revisit our existing opinions?

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, please consider "Favoriting" GLT Global Ed (dba Google Lit Trips) on our eBay Giving Works page at: http://ebay.to/11vhysK

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Classic works of literature loved by 23 top CEOs

Classic works of literature loved by 23 top CEOs | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Josh James, the former CEO of Omniture, and his new website, CEO.com put together the below infographic with a wonderful collection of 23 top CEOs, and the books that inspired them.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

10 November 2014

 

Intriguing list of 23 top CEOs and the classic works of literature they love. 

 

I'm not certain whose definition of "Classic Literature" was used for  this article. Some titles are pretty much outside my understanding of both "Classic" and "Literature." However, there are quite a number of titles that most would agree are both "Classic" and "Literature."

 

Be sure to scroll past the first large graphic to see titles specific to each CEO.

 

What might you do with this information in terms of adjusting your pedagogy, or selling the value of literature to the rest of your staff, or engaging your students in Literary (and Informational) Reading?

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

 

 

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Rare Steinbeck WWII Story Finally Published

Rare Steinbeck WWII Story Finally Published | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
NEW YORK (AP) — In July 1944, Orson Welles wrapped up one of his wartime radio broadcasts with a brief, emotional reading of one of the country's favorite authors, John Steinbeck.

The piece was titled "With Your Wings," an inspiratio...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

8 November 2014

 

I've been a Steinbeck enthusiast for several years. That enthusiasm has grown over to the last few years as I've developed a relationship with the National Steinbeck Center as a volunteer writing coach for their annual Day of Writing (http://www.steinbeck.org/pages/steinbeck-young-authors).


In fact, I'm hoping that a recent volunteer  project I've been working on via my relationship with Google will be publish soon. That project involves creating a full 360° walking tour of The National Steinbeck Center and another of John Steinbeck's childhood home.


This  article regarding the discovery of a previously unpublished story that had world-wide attention for "moments" when it was originally broadcast on Orson Welles' radio broadcast and then mysteriously disappeared without the proverbial trace should be of significant interest to any Steinbeck reader.


_____

As I read the article, I couldn't help but notice the emphasis upon the intertwined relationship between fiction and nonfiction. Steinbeck's use of fiction to focus "mindful-like attention" on real world issues such as war and race relations, via the engagement factors in which fiction can engage audiences' attention upon those issues is among the most frequently under-valued benefits for society at large (meaning among those who are not the typical literary scholarship types).

 

"Mindful-Like attention" to important society-wide issues seems to be insufficiently encouraged among the masses today as attention to the whole competes with attention to the much smaller self-interest portion of too many people's "attention."  Witness the controversial attention to the 1% who seem to have garnered a particularly disturbing percent of the global wealth and political power.

 

It may be easier for liberals to find a sort of "I told you so" agreement with issues such as social inequality than to find a similar openness to war, which Steinbeck also supported. 

 

The article in referencing the newfound story,thereby may stimulate the truly mindful on both sides of the political spectrum to pause and revisit beliefs that may not have been revisited since their opinions began solidifying.

 

Okay, well, all of this gets me to the sentence that caught my attention. 

_____

"With Your Wings" at first reads like a standard narrative of a veteran's return, a plot used by everyone from Homer to Ernest Hemingway.,,,"

_____


I couldn't help but "almost" pass by that sentence with a sort of "who doesn't know that" sort of "English-majorish" snootiness. But, it led me to recollect Mark Twain's "The War Prayer" (http://warprayer.org)  where the focus is upon soldier off to war and the parades of enthusiasm upon their departure rather than upon their return as is apparently the case in this newly recovered Steinbeck story.

 

Both authors were known for their interest in social issues of the day.

Both gave stirring attention to racial inequality.

And both used the momentum of patriotism-inspired parades celebrating those who fought in wars.

 

Yet, Steinbeck was pro-war while Twain was a deserter who questioned the social pressures of his southern pro-slavery.

 

Though both generally took opposing positions on war, each also found agreement that "war" is not the only battleground to which societies need attend.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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17 Writers On The Importance Of Reading

17 Writers On The Importance Of Reading | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." —Lemony Snicket
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

7 November 2014

 

Oh what a delicious collection of quotes delivered to the mind's table with exquisite presentation.

 

These quotes are large enough to download and share with students. 

 

OR... to have students peruse in search of the single quote that most appeals to them.

 

A tip... tell the kids they can only pick ONE to call their favorite. Why? because it's easy to toss those without appeal. But extremely difficult to toss those with tremendous appeal. 

 

Just tell them the rules are they can ONLY pick one. Why? Because when forced to choose between two quotes (or maybe even three) they are forced into a sort of contemplative mode where they really have to weigh the reasons why both (or each) has such a strong appeal. 

 

And, in doing so, they will leave with an enhanced appreciation for all of the best ones. Rather than merely crossing out all but one and then not really exploring the source of any of the quote's attraction for them.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit.

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Chéri Vausé's curator insight, November 10, 6:08 PM

Reading is essential to writers, and not just for doing research. You can become hackneyed, in a rut, write in directionless formulas if you don't keep up and read someone else's style of prose. Authors, therefore, should read more than readers. Yes, that is exactly what I said. You will never grow as a writer if you don't read. As for reading junk, keep it to a minimum, for that could also keep you from reaching higher with your prose, from challenging you to writer better and better.

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Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan UPDATED!

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan UPDATED! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

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GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, November 3, 6:22 PM

3 November 2014

 

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

 

Google Lit Trips fans using any of the following Lit Trip titles can upgrade now. All previous versions will become obsolete once the new Google Lit Trips website is launched sometime in the next few months.

 

Esperanza Rising v2 by Pam Muñoz Ryan

A Small Dog's Big Life v2 by Irene Kelly

The Slave Dancer v5 by Paula Fox

The Kite Runner v6 by Khaled Hosseini

The Grapes of Wrath v7 by John Steinbeck

Flotsam v3 by David Wiesner

Sam Patch Daredevil Jumper v4 by Julie Cummins

Going Home v3 by Margaret Wild

A Walk in London v4 by Salvatore Rubbino

A Family Apart v5 by Joan Lowery Nixon

Abuela v3 by Arthur Dorros

Big Anthony: His Story v4 by Tomie DePaola

Make Way for Ducklings v4 by Robert McCloskey

Number the Stars v4 by Lois Lowry

By the Great Hornspoon v4 by Sid Fleishman

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

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Txtng is killing language. JK!!!

Txtng is killing language. JK!!! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Does texting mean the death of good writing skills? John McWhorter posits that there’s much more to texting -- linguistically, culturally -- than it seems, and it’s all good news.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

2 November 2014

 

I'm so wanting to dump my own take on this article upon those reading these comments. And, knowing me, I probably will, at least to some extent before I hit the publish button.

 

Yet, at the same time, I'd love to resist that temptation in favor of making the following suggestion. 

 

VERSION 1

1. Gather the members of your staff in the same room to watch this video.

 

2. Let them know up front that it is only 13 minutes and 48 seconds long. You may know why this is important information to give up front.

 

3. Have everyone fold a sheet of paper in half "hot dog" not "hamburger." (can't help but wonder how many do and how many don't understand this step)

 

4. Ask that people watch without comment until the end of the video in order not to influence each other's initial reaction.

 

5. While watching suggest that people merely put a check mark on the left side of the paper crease whenever the speaker's comment is in alignment with their own thoughts and a check mark on the right side whenever the speaker's comment is not in alignment with their own thoughts. (It's not important to note the actual point the speaker made, but rather to quickly note a countable number of moments of alignment and non-alignment.)

 

6. At the end of the video have everyone tally the checks in each column. 

 

7. (This is a challenge) Say nothing and wait for a conversation to begin.

 

ALTERNATE VERSION

1. Read the directions for Version 1.

 

2. Watch the video at your convenience.

 

3. Imagine what the conversation might have been like had you pulled off the Version 1 process.

 

_________

I'll be darned! I did it! I think I managed to get to the end without dumping my own take on you.

 

 

Thanks to one of my dear former students, Rebecca Fortelka, who taught me a whole lot about powerful communication skills, for suggesting this video. 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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Sean Hutchinson's curator insight, November 6, 4:31 AM

It's amazing how difficult putting pen to paper has become. Sometimes I think I need to go back to Kindergarden with my Niece to learn basic grammar and how to spell:). Scary and an eye opener for sure.

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15 True Facts That Sound Completely Made Up

15 True Facts That Sound Completely Made Up | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
The universe is full of crazy things. These facts sound so bizzarre that you may not believe them, but they are actually true!
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Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson UPDATED!

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson UPDATED! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson added to list of refreshed Lit Trips in preparation for the launch of our updated website.

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Gotta love it!

Gotta love it! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

24 October 2014

 

In a hamburger joint across the street from AT&T Park. My new favorite beer (bottle cap)!

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