Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Don't Go Online Looking For Help With A Book Report

A student who had to read the book The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep And Never Had To for his reading list over the summer found himself faced with a problem many kids have faced. School starts next week and you have not even started the book. What to do? Turn to the internet of course. So, the student goes to Yahoo Answers and asks someone out there to summarize the entire 226 page book for him and that he needs it done quickly because he just does not have the time to read it, and does not particularly want to. Well, the author, D.C. Pierson, no doubt having a Google alert set up for himself, responded to the student and told him what he thought about not reading the book.

"First off, I'm really excited that my book is being suggested for summer reading. On the other hand, I'm bummed out that you don't want to try and finish it, and not even because you think it's bad, but just because it seems like work instead of like fun.
I'm not going to sit here and act like I didn't sometimes not read assigned books for class in high school. Even though it's referenced once in my book, the book you're avoiding reading, I've never actually read "The Scarlet Letter." So I'm sympathetic to your plight. But I think you'll find there's a ton more sex, swearing, and drugs in my book than anything else you have been or will be assigned in high school, and I don't mean in the way your teacher will tell you "You know, Shakespeare has more sex and violence than an R-rated movie!" I mean it's all there, in terms you will readily understand without having to Google them. Plus not once to I refer to anything as a "bare bodkin" or anything like that."

Now I want to read the book.


Roman Holiday said...

HA!!! Awesome!!!

Frufra said...

1. The author seems like an awesome person, someone I'd like to have a cup of coffee with.

2. WTF with kids and their sense of entitlement? Notice, I didn't say kids today, because kids 50 years ago would have put out the same plea if they would have had the webz. But, seriously, get off YouTube and your damn phone and read the 226 page book already! And stay off my lawn while you're at it! Shit!

Patty said...

That's priceless. But you know what would have been even better, if he gave him a complete summary of a totally different book, including "everything important"

I mean, we all know that the internent is not completely accurate 100% of the time, right?

SusanB said...

ROFL at Frufra - my sentiments exactly!!! And keep your damn ball out of my back yard too!

Sunny said...

Agree with Patty - PRICELESS!

Did anyone notice his handle? Idiot America. You got that right, buddy

You nailed it! I love my oldest daughter to DEATH, but I cringe every time I read her Facebook posts. Not one kid that chimes in can spell. At all! Makes me really nervous for the future (Now get off MY lawn)
*oldest daughter = Hubby's firstborn that lives in another state. Just didn't want to confuse you on mi Vida Loca

a non a miss said...

226 pages? I could read that in a couple of hours! Yeah I was that nerd in school who read the book the day it was given to us and I could answer all the questions.

Unknown said...
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goheels83 said...

He still has a fucking week to read the book. Get off your ass and read 30 pages a day!

Brenda L said...

I have seen some really atrocious grammar on FB. We really need to make kids study harder in school.

Unknown said...
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timebob said...

if its on Kindle im buying it today, just to support a cool author (and probably never read it either).

libby said...

No kidding! Some kid's basketball broke my mum off and killed it last Fall! I was devastated!

I never read "The Scarlet Letter" either. I could pass tests and write papers based on osmosis from the classroom discussion. High School RUINED any fiction for me.
Oh! Except Dickens. Dickens is funny in his wordplay. I know he's not highfalutin', so no need to remind me.

crila16 said...

LOL!!! This is great. What a dumbass this kid is. He/She's lazy. With the kindle, online one needs to go to the library anymore (which is kinda sad). No excuses. Plain old lazy.

ablake said...

I wonder how the author discovered the question. Was he googling "why aren't there cliff notes already about my book?"

Heh, cliff notes were my saving grace through HS.
Except for "A Separate Peace". Damn I loved that book.

Lian said...

libby, I was reading too fast and thought the basketball killed your MOM. I was like, "OMG, how??"

Sandy said...

I know a woman who 'bought' her assignments and essays from the her final year at college.

She literally looked up sites that received payment for writing your essays etc.

She would fight with these sites because of the quality of the reports. In the end I told her...."with all the effort you put into these fights, you could have written the essay yourself".

In all honesty, I lost total respect for someone who is now using her 'degree' as a means to an end. She promotes herself as having a degree in (such and such) and yet..several of her final reports were done by someone else......plagiarism anyone??

Astrid said...

I just bought A Separate Peace to re-read. I get all first day of school nostalgic in August.

ablake said...

Phineas was my first crush Astrid:) It's such a good read.

I looked up this guy's book on Amazon. I'm really not quite sure why it would be on a 'must read' list for school. They would have been better off going with Christopher Moore if they want goofy,IMO.

"Book Description
Publication Date: January 26, 2010
A wildly original and hilarious debut novel about the typical high school experience: the homework, the awkwardness, and the mutant creatures from another galaxy.

When Darren Bennett meets Eric Lederer, there's an instant connection. They share a love of drawing, the bottom rung on the cruel high school social ladder and a pathological fear of girls. Then Eric reveals a secret: He doesn’t sleep. Ever. When word leaks out about Eric's condition, he and Darren find themselves on the run. Is it the government trying to tap into Eric’s mind, or something far darker? It could be that not sleeping is only part of what Eric's capable of, and the truth is both better and worse than they could ever imagine."

Glitter said...

Let's face it: Those old classics are hard to read, even though they are really, really good. On the other hand, this boy/girl is just plain lazy. I wish all kids knew just how much fun reading is.

poovey-tunt said...

If the kid really couldn't get a hold of the books earlier and isn't a strong reader, I can sympathize a bit. But, seriously, Yahoo Answers? There have to be better places to get a summary, even for something that isn't from the usual classic-lit-for-the-summer shelf.

Cheat smart, kid. Come on.

Amber said...

Fact: I never read Frankenstein in HS, but I got a B+ on the essay by reading the back cover and BSing my way through it.

WUWT? said...

An author writes "try and" instead of "try to?" Oy. figgy, what are you doing with the rest of your lottery winnings, after you teach the English speaking world the difference between its and it's?

cheesegrater15 said...

Amber, you aren't missing much. It's the most overrated piece of shit fiction since the Bible. I was so disappointed when I read it.

libby said...

OMG---Lian, I just re-read and realized that means 'mom' to so many, then I saw your comment! ha!

Chrysanthemum. Spell-check got me through it, but you see why we abbreviate.

Snapdragon said...

I want to read this book now!

Snapdragon said...

Vicki: I am laughing SO HARD. I think I lurve you. :-)

RenoBlondee said...

I just completed my very first quiz for English class online and my first math class is tomorrow night. I am scared to death I'll be too old and stupid for college you guys!

Amber said...

Haha Vicki - Another fun fact: In HS I took a Bible Lit & Philosophy class. The first day our teacher had us play the game telephone, and asked us if we knew why. I, of course, excitedly raised my hand (and was the only one). I made a lot of people uncomfortable that semester. It was a blast.

Frufra said...

@Vicki - ha! Spot on!
@Reno - you can DO THiS, girl! Kick higher education's ass!
@Amber - I love it - wish we were school mates!

Frufra said...

Oh, and I never read A Tale of Two Cities. Fake it til you make it - class discussions got me through. I'd try to read it and fall asleep.

You know what's gruesome, though? Reading Homer's Odyssey out loud in class. For weeks and weeks. Even the teacher stared at the clock during those trying times.

Jasmine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cheesegrater15 said...

Amber, I would have been burned at the stake. lol

Jasmine said...

At one time great books were BANNED from being read and taught, such as:

Animal Farm
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
The Canterbury Tales
The Grapes of Wrath
Green Eggs and Ham
The Metamorphosis (my personal fav)
and Nineteen Eighty-four (my fav book of all time)

It used to be students could not read fabulous books that made one think, and made one question their world and the people and government in it.

One of my biggest pet peeves with people born in the late 90s/early 00s is they have ALL this technology and knowledge at their fingertips and the whole world is open to them and yet they fucking spell shit in txt form, they proudly dont know the Titanic isnt just a 90s movie starring Leo Dicaprio, and they dont realize how great it is to be given a book with cool contemporary stuff like this book at hand they're assigned, rather than some stuffy boring book they cannot relate to.

This privileged dipshit has no clue how great it is that he CAN read a book like this for school, nor the power and gift reading can bring to you.

The author scored a million points for patiently (and sardonically) answering his pathetic problem, rather than screaming at him like I want to do.

In conclusion to this rant, people who have kids PLEASE use the old adage that you can learn FROM history while still stepping into the future. Letting your kids be immersed in this century, giving them untold games, gadgets, and unlimited access to technology without tempering that with some old fashioned appreciation for reading, writing, art, and history will fuck over kids every time.

cheesegrater15 said...

The Metamorphosis is one of my favorite stories. Always depressed the hell out of me, though.

flip said...

I think you guys are funny. But... I have a little bit of sympathy for the kid, not respect nor admiration but a smidgen of understanding. S/He was assigned a book to read that was not his/her choice. I eventually had to give up on all book clubs that I tried because it felt like homework at times. I decided I preferred choosing which book was worth investing my time.

Granted, while you are in school you are at the mercy of the teacher's choice -- but many of us freely admit to skipping reading assignments when we were that age. I had a window broken from a soccer ball last year by a kid, and I grumbled at the replacement cost but knew it was cyclical payback for something I did at that age.

smash said...

That's why animals win over humans. Children are great and all, but JeeeeZ!

ablake said...

Well sure Jasmine
I meant rant all you want but I'm sorry, this guy's book doesn't seem to rate alongside Animal Farm.

A couple of reviews I saw from literary magazines aren't very flattering. Madeline L'Engle he ain't.

Unknown said...

i want to know what the f- was this idiot was so "busy" doing that he couldn't read a book.
just give him and F already and call it a day.
give the parents an F too.
i was made to read at least 4 books during summer- b/c my mother made me- i was not allowed to just watch TV and screw around all Summer.

Jasmine said...

ABlake. Totally. So NOT trying to compare the books I listed alongside this author's book. Seeing as how I havent read it yet. But the content of the book, based upon both the author's and amazon's description, have once tabboo subjects and this is where I was drawing upon the similarities between the once-banned books and this person's book.

My point/rant was really on the underapprecation of the kid who was supposed to read the book and chose to take the easy technological way out. My point was he doesnt seem to understand what a great thing it is to read about subjects that are in books like these when they were once banned completely from the curriculum.

smash said...

Those are all my favorite books.

I feel pleased to have be out of high school just as technology was become teens major source of communication.

Alicia said...

You ladies are hilarious..

I'm such a nerdy fan girl .. I would've been screaming at my computer screen in excitement getting a response like that from an author. But no.. The lazy dipshit gets the reply. Authors are my rock stars. I made a huge collage around a letter I received from Chuck Palahnuik and framed it over one of my bookshelves.. My dad told me I was nuts.. It's a good thing I didn't show him my book shrine!

ablake said...

I hear ya Jasmine, I was just such a book nerd at that age I guess I take it personally:)
I don't like that this guy's book involves roofies. I'll put that out there.

Funny though, I just mentioned to my bf that I loved reading when I was growing up and he said "I did too! Choose your own adventure was my favorite!"

He's lucky he's pretty.

Jasmine said...

hahahaha 'Choose your own Adventures' was great! When I was 10. I found some recently at an estate sale and bought the lot of them. I read one- it took me literally 5 minutes. :-P

Please make my day and tell me you told you bf that last bit about the pretty part.

GP said...

@Amber - What does the Bible have to do with the telephone game? I'm totally not getting that.

Amber said...

Jasmine & ABlake - I was totally down with Choose Your Own Adventure, and it's possible I still have one! (Need to unpack my books still, as we just moved.) However, I read more challenging books, as well. What were the RL Stein books called? Did you guys have Scholastic Book Club?

GP - The theory is that the stories in The Bible were originally passed down orally, so by the time it was written, things may/were likely not 100% as they were originally told - much like the game of telephone. It is upsetting for people to think about that, because many people trust/believe The Bible at its every word. If you are one of those people, that's fantastic. It's definitely something to think about, though, and by no means am I trying to start a religion battle here. I respect everyone's religious beliefs (with exception to CO$), as that is their personal truth.

ablake said...

I sure did.. I said "You're lucky you're pretty". Then he was all "What? You don't appreciate books. I bet you've never even read Encyclopedia Brown"

Hey, at least he was reading :)

Amber said...

ABlake - he sounds like a lot of fun actually. LOL

ablake said...

And he's pretty!!!
<3 you guys

KZoeT said...

My point/rant was really on the underapprecation of the kid who was supposed to read the book and chose to take the easy technological way out.

Except he wasn't using technology to make his work load easier, he was asking people to do his work for him. That's straight up cheating. He should be expelled.

Too flipping bad the book isn't "fun" or of his choosing. His teacher chose the book for its literary (or some other merit) to be part of the learning experience of this term's curriculum. School is about learning about and exploration of a wide range of subjects - even the ones some precious little snowflake doesn't feel like he should or wants to know. He's perfectly welcome to use his after school time and weekends for things that are of hyper-interest to him, ya know?

Jasmine said...

ABlake- I love you, fact.

Amber-RL Stein's book's were called Goosebumps! And FearStreet! And YES I totally had the Scholastic Book Club! I'm from Cali and I went to elementary school (when I read those books) in the early and mid 90s. Side note: Do you remember playing Oregon Trail at school???
EVERY TIME I think about my elementary school experience from like 3rd grade to 5th, ALL I remember are RL Stein books, coloring dinosaurs and planets and learning their names, cursive, and Oregon Trail on the computer with the green screen background!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG- I'm in my happy place right now.

Amber said...

Jasmine YES! We must be about the same age (I'm almost 31). Computer lab day was my FAV! Oregon Trail and Number Munchers! You can find the OG Oregon Trail online and it has a program adapter to play on a current PC. I tried it a couple years ago, but beat the game in like 15 minutes while I was working. I would kill to play some Number Munchers. And TBH, I could probably stand to practice anyway. Hah.

I'm with you. Elementary school was THE BEST!!

Jasmine said...

OMG- You can play the Oregon Trail game online?!
My whole world has shifted in happiness.

Truthfully, elementary school was sorta easy. It's no wonder our generation aint doin all that much, ahahhaha.
And I'm 29, so yeah, we are about the same age.
Side note: Isnt it weird that people born in the 90s are free to go to clubs and interact (and even hit on) our generation?! Some dude with a beard hit on me a few weeks ago...I noticed his class ring said 'Class of 08'....I tentatively asked him what year he was born and he said 1991!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I gave him a panicked look and ran away!
These fetuses should have to wear a cow bell or something ;-0

Also, how weird is it that people are actually born in the 2000s who will be teenagers soon? Im still barely finished with my Color Me Badd and New Edition TAPES, and my walkman. And now I gotta deal with this?


Amber said...

Jasmine - it's SO awkward. One of my younger brother's friends asked me out two years ago. My brother is 5 1/2 years younger, and I've known this kid since he was 2! And they look soooooo young. I see 21 y/os and think they're still in high school. Pretty soon I'm going to be screaming at kids to get off my lawn whilst shaking my cane at them...

Jasmine said...

Yes, it's true. 21 year olds look crazy young. I call them puppies. I date a boy who was 24 a few months ago. I called him puppy affectionately. hahaha. Im such a bitch. (which i guess goes hand in hand with being with a puppy dog, eh?)
ba da bum

Amber said...

Okay I think I found it, Jasmine. I'm pretty sure this site for the Virtual Apple 2 is where I found it before.

Puppies. I like that.

feraltart said...

@Vicki, I loved Fankenstein, but I read it for my own pleasure, not for school.

Henriette said...

@Vickie Cupper
No it's not! Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a marvel. I teach it every fall with my classics in horror series. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was a head of her time. She discussed ethics, science, parenting, and the unsatisfied human.

There is actually two versions of this novel. The first version, which most scholars prefer, was the first published in 1818. The second version was highly edited by her with her husband, Percey Shelley. It was published in 1831.

I also like her apocalyptic novel The Last Man, which influenced Richard Matheson's I Am Legend.

Vicki you really are missing out.

Henriette said...

On a final note, every semester some kid watches every Frankenstein movie, but never reads the book and fails his or her term paper on it.

WUWT? said...

I was hard on the author earlier, but I'm at least glad that he knows than from then. Someday kids will be reading books for school that no longer make that distinction. I shudder.

Jasmine: GREEN EGGS AND HAM was BANNED??!! What the huh?

Jasmine said...


The book was banned in China because the republic thought it contained Marxian themes. EYE ROLL

NYCGirl said...

Yup, "Idiot" seems to be an apropos screen name.


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