Best Books 2002

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at
Tue Jan 7 00:34:06 EST 2003

---Original Message From: Robyn Starkey
> >I can probably fake my way through the discussion.  It's amazing how
> >intelligent you can sound knowing only a few key plot points and maybe a
> >critical opinion or two.  Of course, this is bad if you come up against
> >someone who actually *knows* the text in question, but then you just shut
> up
> >and listen.  That makes you seem like a genius.
> >
> >You're not supposed to reveal how I managed to graduate college, dear.
> I am sitting here reading this just before going to teach introductory
> literature courses for the first time this semester, and boy does reading
> these comments make me not want to go. Sigh. You might pass without
> reading
> the book, but there's no guarantee your poor instructor won't BITE your
> essay.

No guarantee I'd succeed, but there's no guarantee my poor instructor would
even notice.  There's a certain, well, skill set to it if you pay attention.
After listening to class discussion and instruction, there just isn't much
you can't fake.  A lot depends on the class and instructor, though.  The
fact of the matter is that some instructors are pretty clueless or have an
easy handle (one reason I have so little respect for agendized
professors--not only are they intellectually compromised, IMO, but they also
tend to be easily manipulatable).

And for a more complete effect, I found you can take the flavor of a book
pretty well if you read the first quarter, a chapter every hundred or
hundred fifty pages, and the final chap . . . Um.  I've *heard* you can get
a pretty good flavor of a book if you . . .  Er.

Jacob Proffitt

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