I don’t understand how I’m going to be able to write five hundred words about myself every week for the entire school year, especially when I don’t think my life is interesting enough to fill a short summary every month. For example, in this entry I wish I could write something about how I spent a traditional Labor Day on one last trip with my family to the beach, but I spent the day at home mostly wasting time on the internet. It took me most of today’s working section to even come up with the first sentence of this paragraph. Also, since you won’t collect these until the end of the year I have no idea whether or not I’m doing them correctly or not. It’s like in math class when they give you problems to solve to get practice, but they don’t give you the answers so you can check to see whether or not you’ve been solving them correctly. You could be doing dozens of problems the wrong way, and you won’t find out until you get the answers wrong on the next test.
However, I understand that sophomore year English is about writing. It will hopefully be more productive than freshman year, where we spent all of our time reading books written by people born before 1975 and are based on their childhoods. But the world is very different now than it was when they were children, and honestly I’m not sure if other suburban teenagers today can really relate to a story of someone from sixty years ago. There are a lot less kids for one thing, and nearly a fifth weren’t in lower-level schools with limited future opportunities. Most people acted much differently than kids do today, and not just due to advances in technology. Even with advancing technology I think the next generation might see more of themselves in the characters of those books and get more out of them. Teaching young adult literature to young adults makes sense, but those books were about as relevant to the lives of my classmates and me as a book about the life of 17th century nobility.
This wouldn’t have been a problem if they were interesting, but the authors seemed to think that just having characters set at the same age as the audience is enough and didn’t bother to write an interesting story. If the story is interesting, solid, and provides emotional connection, it shouldn’t matter the age or background of the person reading it. Fantasy novels, science fiction shows, and historical movies all take place in eras or worlds that are outside our experiences but still have followings despite that because of the other things they offer.
I know you’ve been teaching this class for a long time, so these complaints probably aren’t new to you and your methods might make sense as we go through the year. However, your instructions weren’t very clear on what exactly we should be writing about, and these concerns were the only things I could think of.