Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ramble Ramble Ramble

First of all, I love this entire series of books more than words could ever express. I know them all by heart. One of my first memories is of my mother reading aloud to me the first chapter of Little House in the Big Woods, and falling in love with the words, the style, the personalities, and every single thing the author, who is also the main character, had to say. When I realized, years later, that what my mother was reading to me was an excerpt from one of her own 1938 lower elementary school readers, it was the beginning of my prediction that school would be wonderful, and that every day I'd get to experience more excerpts from more and more books, so I could begin making lists of actual books to get from the public library. (this same book also had excerpts from Les Miserables and Peter Pan, and if you think the novel Peter Pan was written entirely for children, you've obviously been misled by those dreadful Disney versions!) (And yes, young children CAN understand and love real books with big words, if they're exposed to them) Because Mom read interesting stories to me, I fell in love with books and couldn't WAIT to learn to read. Actually, I don't remember how I learned to read; I do remember, however, PRETENDING to read. I also remember the day I was pretending to read a real book and suddenly, I realized that I could. It was an unabridged Heidi.

To this day I adore Heidi, and I abhor any and all abridgements. Read it as the author intended, or not at all. Oh, okay, read it in any version you wish, but the unabridged versions are the best.

Then, finally, I went to school, and from the first day I was disappointed. Everything was geared for (if you'll excuse the expression) dumb kids! My first school readers were real downers: short and boring, with limited vocabulary, with large print (which made me feel condescended to) and with stupid storylines about boring children named Tom and Betty and Susan and their equally boring dog, Flip. Where was Jean Valjean, and Captain Hook, and Laura Ingalls making butter with a churn? Where was Heidi, and Rebecca Randall, and Tom Sawyer? Where was the good stuff Mom had in her day? Gone, gone, gone, thanks to "educators" who think small children benefit by prescribed vocabulary and simple little stories that mean nothing. It's too bad that modern primary readers contain nothing remotely interesting and are, in fact, one of many reasons children today hate to read: schools give them nothing worth reading.

When Michael Landon, he who reveled in spawning families and then deserting them, became known as Pa Ingalls instead of Little Joe Cartwright, millions of people were misled into believing that the TV versions of Laura's books were what actually happened.

The truth is, those TV episodes were MISrepresentations of those beautiful books. I hated that TV show for its lies and its inaccuracies and its complete disregard for the truth. Yes, I understand that TV writers who have no love for the original books and actors who think they're God wield power and generally get their own way, and people who have no knowledge of the books will be suckered into believing the storylines of the TV show. I hate that, too. I also hated the fact that Michael Landon is still believed to be the Perfect Father by people who know nothing of his real life. His abandoned wives and children tell a somewhat different story.

Why am I venting about this? I don't know; I got sidetracked, as usual.

Oh yes. This morning afternoon, I was awakened by the sound of raindrops on the roof, after a summer of drought. It reminded me of that scene in Little House on the Prairie where Laura was awakened by the sound of raindrops on the roof; she hadn't heard any for a long time because they'd been living in a soddie.

And then I started to ramble.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:03 PM | |


I am Mamacita. Accept no substitutes! Hitting the fan like no one else can. . .
I'm Speaking at BlogHer 08 Archives Links

My Classical Blogroll

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Mamacita3855. Make your own badge here.

Credits Powered by Blogger

Designed by Swank Web Style
< <


Honors Blogrolling.com Hot 500


Lijit Search/a> < BlogHer.org Logo


Listed Subscribe with Bloglines

View My Public Stats on MyBlogLog.com

Personal Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory

Listed on BlogShares


DIARIST.NET Registered!

Technorati Tags:

Technorati search

Free Hit Counter