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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Presque vu XXXIII

Pearce Carefoote, author of Forbidden Fruit: Banned, Censored and Challenged Books from Dante to Harry Potter, believes that attempts at censorship usually backfire:

“When you think about the history of education, going back to Socrates, it’s all been about asking questions, arguing over ideas, raising objections and then coming to some kind of resolution. That takes time, effort and hard work. It’s much easier to say ‘I don’t like this book.'”


Bowen T Hunter over at Bookarazzi is worried that reading is becoming a dying art; describing an illiterate child, he says:

The school she was at was very poor. She is 11, and knows only her 2 and 5 times multiplication tables. The new school expects rather more, and so I have been badgered into trying to raise her educational level. Where to start? Oh my. She cannot add or subtract single digits without using her fingers. If I ask her “What is twenty minus one?” she has to sit and think, then out come the hands…”Twenty…um…….EIGHTEEN!” It is scary to think that in her old school she was one of the brighter pupils!


Confessions of a Psychotherapist:
Ms Melancholy‘s was the funniest post I read this week:


I take a teeny weeny blogging break during which I explore my long-standing confusion about my sexuality, decide to split from my husband, take a lesbian lover, tell my adolescent son that his mother is gay and move house. And what happens? I watch my technorati rating plummet to barrel scraping levels.

You really are a fickle lot 🙂

2 Responses to “Presque vu XXXIII”

  1. Bowen T Hunter says:

    Thanks for featuring one of my rants about modern education. I struggle to understand the way the level of education has declined so much in the few (ok, not so few) years since I left school. I can’t help but feel that teachers would be better at their job were they actually just left to teach, rather than have to spend their time trying to impliment new techniques of teaching. Phonics. Not phonics. Blocking maths. Not blocking maths…come on, just let them teach a method that they feel comfortable with!

    PS, much as I liked your comment, I am in fact a he, not a she 🙂

    jb says: Hi Bowen. Great post, by the way. I’ve changed your gender in my original post but left it in doubt here, just for the record. Good for me, that, having such an obvious judgement-call called.

  2. minx says:

    Err, John, when I saw Bowen on Saturday she had a beard!

    jb says: I’m going back in the stocks after dinner.