Doing the reading (was: Best Books 2002)

Denise DeGraf mustang at
Fri Jan 10 23:45:24 EST 2003

hallieod at danced around singing:
>3,000 pages per *week*???  That's insane!  How on earth is anyone supposed 
>to think about what they've read, even if they could manage to read 
>it?  And why set a reading load no one can realistically cope with?

I've been wondering the same since I got there.  The problem is that each 
prof tries to jam through several hundred pages each week -- usually the 
main text plus handouts -- and when you get 4-5 classes worth of that, the 
overall reading load quickly becomes ridiculous.

For example, here are the reading loads for two common classes:

California Lit: Acosta, O.: The Revolt of the Cockroach People; Bulosan, 
C.: America Is in the Heart; Chan, S.C. and S. Olin: Major Problems in 
California History; Davis, M.: City of Quartz; de Burton, R.: The Squatter 
and the Don; Kerouac, J.: On the Road; Kingston, M. H.: China Men; 
McWilliams, C.: California, The Great Exception; Norris, F.: The Octopus; 
Ruiz, R.: Happy Birthday, Jesus; Steinbeck, J.: Grapes of Wrath; West, N.: 
The Day of the Locust; a course reader containing additional primary and 
secondary materials

Studying The Novel: Anon.: Lazarillo de Tormes; Beckett, S.: Company; 
Defoe, D.: Robinson Crusoe; Dostoevsky, F.: Demons; Edgeworth, M.: Castle 
Rackrent; Flaubert, G.:Madame Bovary; Goethe, J.: The Sorrows of Young 
Werther; Joyce, J.: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Kundera, M.: 
The Unbearable Lightness of Being; Nabokov, V.: Pale Fire; Petronius: the 
Satyricon; Sterne, L.: Tristram Shandy; Woolf, V.: Mrs. Dalloway.

With undergrads required to carry four courses of that depth (16 units) 
it's no surprise that the new student orientation speech says outright that 
"you can do three things in college -- sleep, study, or socialize -- but 
you'll only have time for two of them here."

Denise DeGraf ~~
"You're down as expendable.  You don't get a weapon."
    -- Diana Wynne Jones (Dark Lord of Derkholm) 

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