What Do They Teach in School These Days?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Squire, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. Squire macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2003
    For the past few weeks, I've been tutoring a Korean girl who attends high school in Wales. She asked me to help her out with the musical they're studying in English class entitled Blood Brothers. The story's great but, to be honest, I'm a little surprised at the profanity - just because this is something they'll be studying with the teacher. (It's a good thing the student asked me what "tits" and "nymphomaniac" meant. I can just imagine the laughter and resulting embarrassment.)

    So what novels, plays, musicals, etc. are taught nowadays? When I was in high school, we did a different Shakespearean play each year (Julius Caesar, MacBeth, and Hamlet), a lot of poetry, and at least one novel. (It was a long time ago. The only one I can recall is Lord of the Flies.)

  2. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    i suppose its their attempt to be contemporary and capture the interest of the students, i enjoyed doing the classic plays in high school, but we also did more modern ones, but mainstream ones. nothing with swearing tho
  3. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    I just graduated from HS a couple of years ago and we stuck to the basics. Here is some of the stuff we studied:

    The Crucible, Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, The Scarlet Letter, A Separate Peace, Animal Farm, A Farewell to Arms, Night, The Old Man and the Sea, Ethan Frome, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Crime and Punishment.
  4. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    im gonna be a freshman in about 8 days and in the past couple years we studied: animal farm, fahrenheit 451, macbeth, night, alicia: my story, a separate peace, farewell to manzanar, the tempest, my fair lady, the odyssey (english of course), and several others i cant remember at the moment. next year we're studying the house on mango street, a hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, and i think romeo and juliet. my favorite one we've done so far is fahrenheit 451 :cool: :cool:
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Yeah, they still teach Shakespeare, but sometimes they're venture into things like Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolfe and such. Not extremely contemporary, but better than Shakespeare. Haaated Shakespeare. I know its important to be exposed to some of his work, but acting it out in English class always seemed a bit unnecessary.
  6. Squire thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2003
    Well, it seems everybody's been studying the mainstream sort of things. Anyone else done anything with profanity or adult content?

  7. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    I can't remember everything I've studied in high school, but I'll give it a shot.

    Freshman year: Fahrenheit 451 (I never finished it. I hated it.), Winterdance, Romeo and Juliet, one of the works from Oedipus Rex, and Farewell to Manzanar. Oh, and the one about Beowulf.

    Sophomore year: I think we only studied Kaffir Boy, but I can't remember for sure.

    Junior year: The Great Gatsby, The Crucible, and many short stories and poems.

    Senior year (in creative writing): Lord of the Rings, and four other books that elude me right now.

    In middle school, I remember studying Animal Farm, several Roald Dahl books, and a few others.
  8. knicksfan58 macrumors member

    May 6, 2004
    im gonna be a freshman soon and for summer reading i have to read 'east of eden' by john steinbeck. it's one of the most boring books i've ever read, and its 600 pages...
  9. aethier macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2003
    Montréal, Canada
    Graduated last year, we still did shakespeare pretty much every grade level

    we read novels, shakespeare, short stories, poems

    grade 7: the one, a book about a native american girl (i forget what its called), romeo and juliet, short stories.

    grade 8: the diary of anne frank, the contender, crab, short stories, poetry.

    grade 9: macbeth, tenderness, lord of the flies, ordinary people, the catcher in the rye

    grade 10: merchant of venice, all quiet on the western front, the great gatsby

    grade 11: the power of one, east of eden, we were the mulvaney's, slaughter house 5.

    and well i am no longer in highschool (in quebec we don't have middle school, and we also only go upto grade 11)

    anyway, we did lots of reading, and lots of responses and lots of essays durring highschool english class...

  10. aethier macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2003
    Montréal, Canada
    i enjoyed east of eden, you will see, the start is a little slow, but it gets a lot better.

  11. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    You haven't missed much. :D

    I personally hate reading literature, because I'm a slow reader in comparison to the avg. person in a classroom about reading literature, and I lose track of everything. I remember that when I was 5th grade, the class was asked something like which was better: Books or movies, and explain. For the above two explanations for my hate of reading literature, I chose movies. I happened to be the only one in the class to choose movies over books. To this day, I still do, and for almost the same reasons.

    With that being said, it's easy for me to recall what I hated doing most in H.S. Though I support H.S., English was never my thing. Titles included: MacBeth, Hamlet, LotF, Old Man and the Sea, and The Scarlet Letter. But then I remember (doing not so well in) reading and trying to understand a best seller called: The Color Of Water.

    But my #1 rated literature material for all of my English classes so far is The Catcher in the Rye. Why? Because, well... the original inspiration from reading through the book is lost, but I know that it isn't one of those story books that lecture you for 350 pages. With Catcher in the Rye, you don't have to force yourself to read through the book as much as others, since it's fairly casual, opinionated, and blunt honest (mostly), rather than having the professional and formal attire of most mainstream books.
  12. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    romeo and juliet, steinbeck, diary of anne frank, catcher in the rye, illustrated man, animal farm
  13. dethl macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I hated english, but we did do the usual: Romeo and Juliet, etc....

    My senior year we had a list from which we could pick. I picked something by Charles Dickens (can't remember title), but I noticed that Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was on the list (a favorite of mine, along with 1984 and Anthem...yeah, so i like the negative utopian series...but they give you a great perspective on the world, because our world isn't like the ones in the book, although 1984 is starting to become more real every day).

    I took all the college english I needed the first year of college (now on year two finally!) and we didn't have any major reading assignments. Then again, I attend a college focused into the sciences.
  14. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Shakespeare used outright filthy language all the time. It doesn't appear that way to current readers, simply because we choose to be offended by different things. The same is true for many other writings now regarded as classics; there are plenty of things that would still be considered naughty today, if figures of speech hadn't evolved.
  15. MacFan26 macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2003
    San Francisco, California
    In high school we read a lot of books with profanity and some that were provocative. I was also in the "advanced" classes too, so people were generally more understanding of it. For example, the whole class wouldn't start giggling over stuff. Some of the books we read were: Song of Solomon, Invisible Man, Grapes of Wrath, Ordinary People, Catcher in the Rye (I detest that one), Crime and Punishment, Death of a Salesman, half of Shakespeare's plays, and the list goes on...
  16. acceber macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Well in Australia...I'm currently doing the HSC (final year of high school, I think in America you call it senior year) and there are three basic streams of english.

    1. English Advanced
    2. English Standard
    3. ESL (English as a Second Language)

    I'm not sure about the latter two, but in advanced, one Shakespeare text is a must. We're studying Antony and Cleopatra.
    We also have an area of study, ours is Journeys and we have to talk about how journey's are represented in different sorts of texts, the different kinds of journeys, etc etc.
    And of course there is Jane Austen. We're studying Emma.

    All very very boring. English is overrated. It's a compulsory subject in Australia.
  17. chewbaccapits macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2001
    Torrance, Californizzel
    Well posted...Just taught Twelfth Night by Shakespeare and that has a sufficent amounts of homoerotic overtones.
  18. takao macrumors 68040


    Dec 25, 2003
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    hm we read:
    catcher in the rye
    lord of the flies
    brave new world
    clockwork orange
    lots of edgar a. poe short stories
    in the last year we had to choose 3 books everyone : i had blade runner ,2001,on the beach

    but i'm sure i missed a few books

    of cours we did some more books in german .
  19. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Well.. it was a really long time ago for me. I graduated from high school in 1990. But it seems like some of the younger folks that have weighed in with what they were taught are, more or less, being taught the same things that I was taught. I think we had a bit more of "The Classics", but a very nice mix of contemporary novels as well.

    I think an interesting follow-up to the original poster's question is, how many of you folks that had to read all this in school still read? Personally, I am a voracious reader. Always have been, always will be. Who cares if 80% of what I read is via Palm eReader on my Tungsten T? :)
  20. FriarCrazy macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2004
    Ames, IA/Eden Prairie, MN
    I might be forgetting something but....

    6th - Animal Farm, Grapes of Wrath

    7th - can't remember

    8th - Cry the Beloved Country, Our Town, The Red Pony

    9th - Scarlett Letter, Romeo and Juliet, Farenheight 451, To Kill A Mockingbird

    10th - The Jungle, The Grapes of Wrath (AGAIN!), The Ugly American, All Quiet on the Western Front, Huckleberry Finn, bunches upon bunches of Robet Frost and Ralph Waldo Emmerson

    11th - The Illiad, The Odyssey, The Aeneid, The Awakening, Crime and Punishment, The Inferno, Dr. Faustus, A Small Place, Still Life With Rice, Candide

    12th - Frankenstein, Hamlet, Heart of Darkness, Things Fall Apart, Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Arcadia (Best play I've EVER read), Anthem

    Arcadia should be read by all seniors in high school. It's fun and witty, a great play to study for the end of the year.
  21. Squire thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2003
    Interesting question. I started reading a lot more as soon as I didn't have to read. Funny, when I was supposed to read something it took forever but once I did it for pleasure, I cruised right along. When I got to Korea, I read tons of books because I spent so much time on public transportation. Nowadays, I don't read as much. (I've got wheels.) I had a roommate, though, who would literally read about 5 books a week. And the guy would read anything.

  22. LimeiBook86 macrumors 604


    May 4, 2002
    Go Vegan
    I'm entering my senior year in high school. But don't ask me anything, I have no idea what goes on. I just learn some math, english, and some science, etc with the old books form the early 80's or 90's.

    Heh, back to school for me soon... <shivers>

  23. mouchoir macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2004
    London, UK
    they were using 'blood brothers' when I was at school about 12 yrs ago, so it's not quite a new and edgy bit of curricular programming.

    hated fahrenheit 451?! It is a fantastic book, and very important – almost up there with 1984 and brave new world...
  24. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    Personally, I will take 1984 over Fahrenheit 451 any day. To me it has a much more developed theme.

    I read a lot - espically now that I am out of work for a week (had a ruptured disk in my neck worked on). I have been meaning to get back to the classics, but lately I have been reading stuff like "The Purpose Driven Life" and "Case for Faith".

    My biggest problem with reading in school was the part where the teachers would make you take a book you didn't quite understand and try and break it into all of the parts and themes. Takes all the enjoyment out of it, personally.
  25. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2004
    The Ocean Floor
    Same although not 12 years ago, 4 for me. I read "Of Mice and Men" and "Blood Brothers" at school. Its not like that bad, they are well respected books and we were teenagers who demanded to be taught! or at least thats what my English teacher said. (on a regular basis:rolleyes:) I'm not sure but i think we might have had a letter go home about it, asking if any parents had any issues about it.

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