Thoughts on Having No Thoughts

I must be missing something. I haven’t enjoyed this reading as much as I think I should be (and I don’t really even know why I think I should be enjoying it). I appreciate the variety of examples of literature, but they are distracting me (in a good way) more than helping support or clarify the points the authors make. In fact, I’ve been hard pressed to collect my thoughts well enough to write something thoughtful in response to this week’s reading. Every time I finish reading a portion of the book, I wonder what I have to say about it. I just can’t think of anything. Nothing. Nada. I opened the book expecting discussions of teaching practices, but what I found was more like an anthology—but not quite. I’ve enjoyed the selections (though some of the non-fiction selections have been tedious to wade through). And I’m always pleased to come across poems or short stories I haven’t read before because there’s something exciting about discovering a good text for the first time. But thoughts? Nope. Maybe it has to do with the looooong and drawn out method of organization (if you can call it that), but I feel like I’m just trying to keep my head above water with this one.

Fortunately, thanks to this course, I have a new appreciation for the merits of struggling with difficulty, so I’ll go with that.

After reading the first chapter, I realized I was more confused than anything else. I couldn’t figure out the target audience (much like the case of Salvatori and Donahue), and that ambiguity frustrated me. I can’t determine whether I’m supposed to be the student or the teacher. This uncertainty and frustration has lingered through the first two chapters. I feel much more like the student as a result of the hang-on-for-dear-life feelings I have as I plod through, but some passages seem geared more toward other audiences. I agree with Abbie that the book certainly could have been organized better (more concise chapters perhaps?) and in a more reader-friendly manner. (And let me just say, that is no small matter to a serious reader. I have very strong feelings toward authors who expect their readers to wade through an almost 100 page chapter on metaphor. That’s just not nice.)

So, in short, I don’t think I’ve worked through my feelings about Text Book yet, but I suppose that’s okay—especially as we still have half the book to go. I’m going to try to come to some better conclusions (or at least formulate intelligent thoughts) for next week because I don’t like uncertainty. It’s not a comfortable space for me to inhabit.