TWAIN-L Archives

Mark Twain Forum


Options: Use Classic View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Anton Verhulst <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 11 Jun 1998 10:30:37 -0400
text/plain (34 lines)
As a person probably fitting the description above :-), I feel qualified to
reply.  For the record, I'm a working engineer, having earned a B.A. in
Biology and an M.S. in Computer Science - I believe that sets me apart from
this crowd.

I too was "forced" to read HF in high school and was not particularly
impressed - at the time.  It was OK, but that was it.  What turned me on to
Twain was a college freshman enlish course where "Letters from the Earth"
was asssigned.  Now I was impressed.  This course and this book ultimately
resulted a lifelong interest in MT as well as a significant collection of

But, to address the questions at hand... It is not hard for students to
discover the works listed by ms. O'Connell.  They simply aren't interested.
When I go to a book store I rarely see people looking at the
classics or looking at poetry.  I see them everywhere else, though.  It's
probably a "culture thing".  It's not that they're adverse to reading, they
just don't read literature.  I'm guilty of this.  My wife has a fair
of the classics - and reads them.  I tend to go for the "Atlantic Monthly"
when it arrives each month.  Am I missing out on something?  Of course, yet
I continue to walk past those books.

As for "when did college become about saving time and work, instead of
engaging in genuine study and discourse", a long time ago, I think.  For
many, a college education is a means to an (economic/professional) end.
A college has become a glofified trade school for many.  Sure, there are
students with a deep interest in learning but I think that they're in
the minority.  I hope I'm wrong, but that's how I see it.

Tony Verhulst
Digital Equipment Corporation