Feb. 8th, 2012

- I suck at time management, to the point where my biggest fantasy right this second isn't that I wake up in faerie, but that I wake up being good at time-management. Is that how you know you've grown up? Um, I hope not.
- Washington State legalized same-sex marriage! YEAH! I am suddenly proud of 'my' state. In fact I've never thought of it as 'mine' before, but NYS sure as hell ain't mine. I disown it, anyway. More importantly, we rock.
- I'm getting used to going to HS to intern/practice sitting quietly/etc, wtf. I'm so not cut out for hardcore urban schools, though. Even my nice, tiny, alternative HS makes me nervous till I relax. Seriously. Hardcore urban? Not my bag.
- We're reading a fantasy YA novel about historical African-American gods/characters/folklore in my class, and some of my group are like, 'fantasy is what turned me off literature in middle school'. O___o for realz! They are having flash-backs, and are like, really struggling to relate to black people's mythology, etc. Even the ones who've got fantasy-reading experience. People comfortable with this book make up a huge minority in our 10-or-so person group. Meh.

...I dunno. I feel let down but unsurprised. I just feel sad, maybe? I dunno. I just have to repeat to myself 'I am different, I am weird, I am different', 'cause like, I forget sometimes. Ok, so all the dialogue being in Ebonics kind of annoyed me (but I got used to it), and the plot was a little boring (but it got better), but they just had this huge resistance, and it was all because of this social/racial gap, and it's just depressing, man. I mean, really? REALLY???

And I can't blame them 'cause it's a visceral response, not an incorrect belief or misguided feeling. Fundamentally, the way I use literature and the way most people (probably) use literature are not the same, and the way I relate to new worlds and cultures is also fundamentally not the same. I mean, like I said, I wasn't thrilled about the Ebonics, but neither was I alienated. I was annoyed, a little bored, but not alienated. Black? Chinese? Rich? Poor? American? Japanese? Realistic? Fantastical? Gay? Straight? God? Human? Other? I don't care. Most people do, apparently. Is that okay? I guess it's neither ok nor 'not ok'...??

Depressing. These are supposed to be future teachers, interested in YA lit. I dunno, I don't blame them. I don't. The need to connect viscerally with literature is a real thing, and it's why these super-personal 'niche' books get written-- because black teenagers don't see themselves reflected in the literature. But I like to think that's not a majority feeling, across the board. I like to think literature can reach you regardless of your culture, and that universal meaning isn't a stupid pipe-dream, but maybe I just have to believe this book isn't good enough, and that's it.


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the one who stumbled

January 2015

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