How Literature Can Keep You Out of Trouble #LiteracyDay

Today, September 8, is International Literacy Day.  It was celebrated for the first time in 1967.  Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies.  Celebrations take place in various countries.

From Wikipedia, Retrieved 7 August 2012.

 

If you are intellectually-minded, you will probably find yourself reading a number of works of literature, the best-regarded and the most-often cited.

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Photographer: Jess Watters

I completed two semesters of literature in college, the second part of 1996 and the first of 1997.  The curriculum included a lot of assigned reading material.  It required devoting a good distribution of time outside of lectures and seminars to turning the pages of important writing, historical in the sense it is enduring.

No one disputes that a lot of partying goes on in college.  I’m a mortal, however.  I wasn’t going to the bar environs with my friends much at all, as many peers were doing.  I didn’t see any way around reading in my room, at least some of the time.

I’d been in eleventh grade between 1993 and 1994.  I had elected to take, as one of my high school courses, the subject of ancient history.

When the summer of 1994 arrived, Mr. Simpson, the gentleman who was teaching an ancient history class, signed my 1994 school yearbook with a note that he predicted I’d spend my life doing a lot of reading.  I think he felt I was a smart student.

Ancient history explained what human life was like, as best we could calculate in the day, life in ancient times when other civilizations than the present existed around the planet.  It reminded me a little of the game Dungeons & Dragons.

Mr. Simpson taught us about nations such as the Roman Empire.  I’ve inferred that the historical Roman Empire inspired some of the gameplay of nineteen seventies’ Dungeons & Dragons.

In the school board governing my high school, in the first part of the year 1996, the teachers went on a work-to-rule.  It was my “grade 13,” the year that tried to most closely prepare students if they stayed in schooling.

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WordPress with positive contrast

“Work-to-rule” meant that high school teachers would only work the hours specifically matched to the student timetable and that teachers wouldn’t support any outside activity or assign homework.  It was worrisome because I needed to get a jump on the skills I’d need for college.  The teachers I had on hand to me simply weren’t working other than carrying out the minimum effort possible.

 

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise”

 

 

Rudyard Kipling

 

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/346219-if-you-can-keep-your-head-when-all-about-you

 

I might not have got into so much bother at that time.  I feel I wasted time partying with friends, as there was no homework to be done and I was characteristically young, an early student.  I wasn’t a self-starter, I would say, as I wasn’t challenging myself to learn all the essential skills to start college.

I didn’t have much help from our teachers–none of the students did–and when it came time to start college, I had a disadvantage.

It was a bad break.  My college grades dipped more than I would have liked, more than they might have had I taken the initiative to develop study skills necessary to deliver the goods in college.

I mentioned the game Dungeons & Dragons.  In various editions of Dungeons & Dragons “initiative” is a rule that game players help decide strategy combat by dice rolls which inform which game character has the first choice to act in the rounds of battle, an advantage in being first.

I should have tried to win the initiative roll.  I plainly didn’t.  I regret it to this day.

I certainly ask for you to “like,” comment, and/or follow.  I wish you well in your own “game.”  Good luck to you, however you decide to play your hand.

2 thoughts on “How Literature Can Keep You Out of Trouble #LiteracyDay

  1. Great writing once again … thnxz 4 the history lesson … always enjoy your printed words … hope to drink coffee with you one day soon and hear the printed words come from your mouth … 😼

  2. I don’t know if my comment went through … but … great writing Patrick … thnxz 4 the history lesson … hope to hear the words you print come from your mouth soon some day over coffee … 😼

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