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Thread: Problem w/ English Teacher

  1. #1
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    Problem w/ English Teacher

    In my English class, we are reading Great Expectations, which is all and good, except for the fact that the teacher found not only an abridged version, but the world's worst abridged version. I think that this is not only an insult to me, but to such a great book (the book has almost 60 chapters, which has been shortend to almost 40 chapters).Also in this text book is an abridged version of Call of the Wild and Romeo and Juliet (I see many more abridged books in the future). Does anybody have any ideas how to get her to stop?

  2. #2
    Just another nerd RobinHood3000's Avatar
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    Yeeesh. Sounds bad.

    Try showing her a collection of what I call the "Great Illustrated Bastardizations," so she can see what abridging does to a work.
    Por una cabeza
    Si ella me olvida
    Qué importa perderme
    Mil veces la vida
    Para qué vivir

  3. #3
    I'm not sure at what level you are studying bub, or in what country, but I would lodge a complaint with the head of department or headmaster (or equivalent) if you feel that strongly. It's what I would have done. If that does no good, try appealing to the board of governors or the local education authority. Take it all the way to your government's education department if need be. If nothing else, this will provide an enlightening insight into the workings of bureaucracy, but you never know, someone may listen.

    Personally, I think your teacher sounds lazy.

  4. #4
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    It would depend at what level you are studying but surely it is not up to one individual teacher to decide which copy you should read; they have to follow a set curriculum usually. Also, even those are only 'recommendations'; if you go out and buy your own copy, I don't think your teacher will object to it. However, it is interesting that you are recommended an abridged version. Please keep us posted when you talk to your teacher!
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  5. #5
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Hey this reminded me of a funny web site of ultra-abridged classics. It's very funny and the kind of thing Lit Net folks would greatly enjoy. It's reducing a classic work down to a sentence or two. Here's the web site:


    http://www.rinkworks.com/bookaminute/classics.shtml

    For instance, here's Moby Dick, by Herman Melville:

    Ishmael
    Call me Ishmael.
    Captain Ahab
    Crew, we will seek the white whale and kill it, because I am insane.
    Crew
    Alas, your destructive obsession will be our undoing.
    (They almost find the white whale. Then they almost find the white whale. Then they find it.)
    Captain Ahab
    I stab at thee. I stab at thee.
    (Everybody dies except Ishmael, although this is no surprise, because it was foreshadowed CONTINUALLY from the BEGINNING.)

    THE END
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubbaroo
    In my English class, we are reading Great Expectations, which is all and good, except for the fact that the teacher found not only an abridged version, but the world's worst abridged version. I think that this is not only an insult to me, but to such a great book (the book has almost 60 chapters, which has been shortend to almost 40 chapters).Also in this text book is an abridged version of Call of the Wild and Romeo and Juliet (I see many more abridged books in the future). Does anybody have any ideas how to get her to stop?
    Bub - Like the others have said, a lot depends on what grade you're in. If this is at a college level, I would say that this is a travasty. Romeo and Juilet abridged? Good Lord.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    ghsgh
    Last edited by Blackspynx; 07-01-2008 at 11:55 PM.

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    I totally agree with Xamonas Chegwe, take this complaint to the highest level, but what I would do is to go out and buy the unabridged copy, then try and read it at the same pace as you are at school, just a chapter ahead, then make sure you point out every single little mistake you come across, particulaly those regarding dialect and language, and make sure you have the book to hand to prove it. Your teacher will regret the time she thought she would be able to muck up one of the gretest literary works of all time...

  9. #9
    rat in a strange garret Whifflingpin's Avatar
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    Does it not depend on the abridgement? Moby Dick might lose something if reduced to a paragraph, but, as a piece of literature, does it need that long discourse on the biology of whales?

    I remember reading Scott's "Waverley" a generation or so ago - having waded, Lord knows why, through six (?) turgid chapters I came to a footnote, by the author, saying that many people had told him that the first chapters were unnecessary, and that he agreed with them, but he didn't want to change the book after it had been published. If I had not been in masochistic mode at the time, I'd never have read any more Scott.

    .
    Voices mysterious far and near,
    Sound of the wind and sound of the sea,
    Are calling and whispering in my ear,
    Whifflingpin! Why stayest thou here?

  10. #10
    in angulo cum libro Petrarch's Love's Avatar
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    Let me just say I can sympathize. My senior year of highschool I had a very similar teacher who was supposedly teaching us AP (advanced placement) English. We went through everything abridged and "translated" into current colloquial english--Beowulf, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens, etc. When he asked us to select our own book to do a project on and I chose Sense and Sensibility he said he couldn't possibly read the book and graded my entire paper based on a three sentence synopsis of the book which he looked up in a big volume of plot summaries for famous books which he always kept in his desk. Complaints fell on deaf ears in my case, but I wish you the best of luck in protesting this. By all means, go ahead and read the books in their entirety and just keep in mind how lucky you are to be able to enjoy books to their fullest in a way your teacher evidently cannot.

    "In rime sparse il suono/ di quei sospiri ond' io nudriva 'l core/ in sul mio primo giovenile errore"~ Francesco Petrarca
    "Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can."~ Jane Austen

  11. #11
    thinker? jessezzel's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm a senior in AP right now, yeah you have to deal with alot of translations like Beowulf and Chaucer becuase its old and middle english. But the whole AP system is starting to get way wacked out in my opinion.
    "It is not a novel to be thrown aside lightly. It should be thrown aside with great force." - Dorothy Parker

  12. #12
    DUH!, the whole point of taking an AP class is to Ace the test, and if it means justgetting the bare bones of everything, who cares. At least you are getting enough of the story to take the test on...right??

    lol, jk. But I really think that a lot of AP teachers think this.

  13. #13
    Sweet farewell, Good Nite
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    This is a classic example of wretched teachers destroying the education system. I agree with the above posts that say abridged versions are the absolute worst. I say ban them all as it plays right into our sound bite-driven world. What this episode also brings to my mind is how most of us pay for it, intellectually and financially, and how it ultimately keeps our decrepit system afloat. "Give me more abridged versions Mr. Professor, sir!" Oh my!
    "He was nauseous with regret when he saw her face again, and when, as of yore, he pleaded and begged at her knees for the joy of her being. She understood Neal; she stroked his hair; she knew he was mad."
    ---Jack Kerouac, On The Road: The Original Scroll

  14. #14
    thinker? jessezzel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imaditzyreader
    DUH!, the whole point of taking an AP class is to Ace the test, and if it means justgetting the bare bones of everything, who cares. At least you are getting enough of the story to take the test on...right??

    lol, jk. But I really think that a lot of AP teachers think this.
    This is very true. In my AP class my teacher cut 1984 out of the reading lis, because i guess it doesnt show up on the test enough. So I read it out side of class. I guess that is about all you can do, is just find the good stuff outside of class instead of depending on your teacher.
    "It is not a novel to be thrown aside lightly. It should be thrown aside with great force." - Dorothy Parker

  15. #15
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    It's true, you most certainly cannot depend on an English class (especially high school English) to discover good literature (except Shakepspeare - but even then it is usually butchered). With texts such as Beawolf or Canterbury Tales - there is nothing wrong with translated versions (learning middle English is simply taking it a step further). There are several good versions of these two texts in modern English, there are also probably hundreds of terrible ones - you just have to look around. I love my copy of Canterbury Tales!
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

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