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Kathy O'Connell <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 10 Jun 1998 21:34:34 EDT
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Friends and colleagues,

       I found the range of responses to the "should plot summaries be
issue fascinating, and a bit disturbing. I'm not an academic, merely a
for whom SLC has been the biggest inspiration. And I think a good chunk of
that impetus came from supremely wise teachers who understood implicitly
there was, and never will be, a substitute for Twain in his own words.
        That these students no longer read is a feeble excuse. I was
fortunate to
have discovered HUCK FINN, TOM SAWYER and LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI on my own
before having Twain introduced in an academic environment. Why is it so hard
for these students now, and if they're so averse to reading, what are they
doing in college?
        It's a curmudgeonly argument, but when did college become about
saving time
and work, instead of engaging in genuine study and discourse? From what I
of our subject, he probably would be appalled at the idea of being studied
the first place, but also rather bemused. The plot summaries, though, I
suspect he'd find rather insulting.

Kathy O'Connell
Hartford Advocate