Gut Rumbles

March 27, 2007

Quote of the day

Originally published March 30, 2006

"The Missus and I got out of that place as fast as we could. A house without books is a house without a soul, and we could not stand to be inside it."--- elisson

My father gave me something for which I always will be grateful: He taught me to love reading and to love books. (See? It's HIS FAULT that I was an English Major.) From the time I first grasped the idea that I could READ (seven years old, first grade, looking at a Bugs Bunny comic book one evening and suddenly realizing that I could read the words in the bubbles over Bugs' head), books became my Door Into Summer, the magic portal through which I could travel to anywhere and do anything.

I read everything I could get my hands on. I not only learned a lot that way, but I also thoroughly enjoyed myself. With a little imagination, I had the best playground in the world right there inside my head. And the more I played in it, the bigger it got.

Stories such as this one [Ed. All links to Netscape seem to be borked right now.] depress me. I'm not surprised that so few high school seniors read well. Public schools really DO suck today. But what's really sad is the fact that if public schools set out DELIBERATELY to short-change students, they couldn't do a better job than they do right now by neglecting to teach reading.

I want to barf every time I hear some clabber-brained idiot extolling the virtues of bilingual education or some preposterous notion that "Ebonics" is a legitimate language. Teach a kid that learning to read and write English isn't important, and you might as well strap an anchor to his leg for life. Guaranteed failure. That's a handicap he'll NEVER overcome.

A house without books isn't a home. It's a prison cell, stagnant and deviod of dreams. And a person who can't read is doomed to stay there.

It's worse than a place with no soul. It's a place with no hope.

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