Monday, 30 May 2011

Things I miss from Home: The Comics Pages

















When I last lived in the States, I passed my days teaching Academic Writing and Developmental English. Developmental English used to be called remedial English. I struggled with reading as a child, and I still struggle to proofread my own writing. I still look up new words. I still find new words in the comics pages.

Often my students told me that they did not see any point in reading. This often meant that they were poor readers or they didn't read material that I might consider important. It usually meant that they'd been told reading the comics pages wasn't real reading. I would tell my students the same thing that I'd once overheard a sage faculty member say to another student. "Read anything and everything that you enjoy. Most importantly, read the comics."

The comics were, ultimately, how I learned to love language and literature. Week days, in much of the US, they cover one side of a newspaper page. On Sundays, they come in color. I still cannot wrap my head around the idea that it would ever be a good idea to tell a faltering reader that this kind of reading has little value.

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