Saturday, 2 August 2014

Aghhhhhhhhh!

So there's just over 2 weeks left of summer until I'm into my final year of secondary school [*hyperventilates*] [*dies*] and, as scary a prospect as that is, there's something that's stressing me out even more right now.

This year I took Advanced Higher English. I'm not sure what the equivalent of it is in England or America or any other country, for that matter, but it's the highest course in English you can take in secondary school. Before summer started, my teacher said you ought to read a lot of high quality literature throughout the year if you're looking for a safe pass because it'll give you a greater understanding and higher quality level of English. In other words, read a lot of classics!


Now, when I hear the word classics, my heart does a little skip and my head does a little groan. Of course I've read classics before (in past English classes) but knowing now that it's up to me to read them in my own spare time is frightening and foreboding. Why? Well I'm pretty sure some of you already know the answer.

I'm just not into classics.

Like, at all.

I've tried. I really have. But, I just can't get in to any of them. The language. The pacing. The storylines that don't interest me... I just find reading them extremely tedious. E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y. I'd love to be able to sit down and appreciate the old language and flip through the pages with a feeling of awe, but that's just not me. Maybe it will be one day but, right now... *shakes head glumly* Where it usually takes me a day or so to finish a book, it took me a month to finish Wuthering Heights. Yes, a month.


I know I should just soldier on and plough through as many as I can but, when I even think about a classic, it's like my brain just starts shutting down. I really want a good grade at the end of this course... but I don't want to spend the whole year stressed or be falling into a reading slump every time I even look at a classic. I'm just stressing out so much about it right now. And it's so ANNOYING!

Anyone got any ideas as to what could help me out? Or how you handle/d the stress of a course like this and doing something you find hard to do? *facepalm*

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

15 comments:

  1. understand your pain with classics! I did a English Literature A level which required me to read lots of long and sometimes uninteresting classics. However, now I'm pretty in to them. While I wouldn't read Charles Dickens, I would read others.
    Perhaps start by reading some classics that are more modern, shorter and perhaps have a film you can watch attached to them. I would recommend The Great Gatsby, On The Road, The Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men and Breakfast at Tiffany's. If you like Sherlock (the TV show) or mysteries, there's always the Sherlock Holmes mysteries (I think the Hound of the Baskervilles is short) or Agatha Christie - they count at classics!
    Hope that helps and good luck!

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    1. Thank you so much for this comment, Rebecca - it's helped!! I've read The Great Gatsby and if the others are around about the same length, maybe it won't be so daunting as I think it'll be. I'll look some of them up! :D

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  2. Same as Rebecca-Books I did English Lit for A Level (which is probably the only equivalent to what you're doing in the UK - except we have a set classic reading list, and we go through the books in class so it's guided). Personally, I struggle with classics too, and have set myself up with the classics challenge - http://confessionsofabookgeek.wordpress.com/to-read/the-classics-club/ (maybe do this for the year to help you? Pick one book a month or something?) although I haven't read them yet I've been told the following are "easier" classics to get into - The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice (and there's a readalong for this for August, so that might help too? https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/138434-austen-august-a-pride-and-prejudice-read-a-long), Of Mice and Men, The Picture of Dorian Grey, The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy... and there's a few others I can't think of right now, but I'd try some shorter ones as they'll feel less painful? There's also so many movie adaptations that you could watch those and then read the book? I found that helped me with P&P as I understood the rhythm of the language used after watching the adaptation and made reading the book easier.

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    1. We're still doing a couple classics in class but we've to take it on ourselves more if we're hoping for a good grade. :33 Thank you so much for all this - you've helped a lot!! xD

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  3. I feel your pain!
    So far, the only classic I've read in my own time outside of school is The Great Gatsby and I loved that, and I have read classics in school, but when studying books you always over analyse them and so they aren't as interesting as they could be.

    Outside of school I find it ridiculously hard to find classics that I'll actually like - I don't want to read Austen or Bronte or things like that - those aren't for me
    Good luck with the reading! xx

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    1. I read TGG in school, haha! The only one I've really read outside school is Wuthering Heights. :3

      Thank you!! xx

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  4. OMG I feel the exact same way about Classics! I just can't get into them. For me it's a case of it's not you, it's me. Because no matter how great the premise, I can never get anywhere near finishing a classic. Good luck to both of us!

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  5. Since I'm in Year 10, at the moment we have to choose our subjects for year 11 and 12 and I I'm thinking of choosing the highest English and I'm nervous too! Like you I don't really like classics and I hate feeling like I have to pull out a dictionary every sentence. Also if I choose advanced English, I have to study Shakespeare which I really hate! So I feel ya at the moment!

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    1. Good luck to you if you do choose the highest English!! I've alright with Shakespeare, though I wouldn't necessarily want to read any of his work in my spare time... ;p

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  6. Oooh Rachel I feel you so much right now! I find it incredibly hard to read classics, and they take me so freaking long to get through!! You just gotta keep going, ploughing through, man. I'm taking Eng Lit so I have to read classics too. I was thinking maybe we could read some together? Chat to me on Twitter if you're interested @tillycurrer, I figure we might have an easier time getting through them if we can rant about them together? :P

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    1. AMAZING IDEA! It would certainly lighten the load! xD

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  7. SO I saw your tweet (retweeted by someone I follow) and decided to check your blog out. So.. I became your 500th GFC follower. :) This post is very much relatable. :D

    Anyway, Classics are not really my either. They're not just my cup of tea and I really hate slow-paced books. Aw. Good luck with reading them though!

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    1. THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU! xD

      Yep, it's the pacing that gets me too! :(

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  8. I know what you mean! I haven't actually read that many classics, barely any actually *guiltily looks at floor*, it's just that not many seem particularly interesting and when I have *tried* reading some classics I couldn't get into them because of the language used. I'm taking English Literature for my subjects and I'll have to do Shakespeare which I really, REALLY do not like haha!

    Maybe you could listen to an audiobook and then read the book shortly after? :) If you get classics in audiobooks, I've never actually listened to one haha xD

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