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Tobe Poehlmann
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Take the leash, Mr. Crusher! Engage!
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Goofus and Gallant in color! Totally different from how I remember it.
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In college I had an assignment to read and do an hour-long presentation on Gunter Grass' "Cat and Mouse" for a German Literature class I was taking. I read the book in both German and English to make sure I wasn't missing anything, and I was fascinated by it. It's about a teenage boy growing up in WWII Germany who gets through his youth and subsequent military service by being an oddball character, a non-conformist in a society that demanded conformity. I interpreted that as a defense mechanism to guard himself from being totally indoctrinated by the Nazi crap around him. So I base my presentation of the book on this theory and and the professor cuts me off, saying simply "That's not exactly right." I was so thrown off by this I couldn't continue and he basically hijacked my presentation and told me and the class his interpretation of it, which was, of course, by its very nature, the correct one! Needless to say, I was humiliated. I had found meaning in the story only to be told it was wrong. That's probably the worst thing an educator could ever do, shutting someone down in front of a class that way and implying that individual interpretations are meaningless. I sure as hell don't read a book as if it were lecturing me. I believe what goes on in my mind reading it is as important as what went on in the author's mind writing it. How boring (and scary) it would be if everyone had the same experience from reading the same book. Thanks for sharing the quote, Wil. I feel vindicated!
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When you said "I made this!" I heard the voice of that little kid at the end of every X-Files episode! Anyway, congrats! Can't wait to read it!
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May 29, 2012