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Stack of Books
Posted on Monday 17 March 2008 at 10:54 am

I hate that book!

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I just talked to Justin. Justin is the guy who first hired me and trained me for my summer teaching job that I've done the past couple of years. He was my supervisor my first year. He was calling about me working again this summer. Basically, we just needed to talk about the paperwork I need to do and he filled me in on some of the changes in the reading curriculum. We're doing Fellowship of the Rings with the high school kids this summer. I hate that book. I've tried to read it several times and have never even been able to finish it. The entire beginning is boring, rambling, and pointless. Everyone has told me if I can just get to the stupid chapter about the Prancing Pony Inn or something along those lines, the book gets much better. But I get bored to death and give up before I can ever get there. Now I'm not only going to have to read it, I'm going to have to work up enthusiasm for it to motivate a bunch of high schoolers that don't want to be in class reading a book during their summer. Bummer!
Feeling: Annoyed
Exploring: Desk


What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 6:05 pm on 17 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Well first of all if you're going to teach the book you need to know that there's only one Ring in the title. ;) Second of all, I'm sorry you hate it. I personally love the LotR books, but they are very dry and dense and I don't think Tolkien would have been published as is if he were publishing today.

Are you allowed to/would you have the time to teach it in conjunction with the movie? Because maybe you could get kids interested by exploring what the movie did differently from the book.
bratty_jedi at 9:28 pm on 17 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Ring. Rings. What's the difference? :P

I'll try to get it correct in the future.

I doubt very much that the movies will be built into the curriculum explicitly. There won't be much time for stuff like that, but if it gets the students talking I could certainly use it to begin discussions.
gilpin25 at 7:51 pm on 17 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I love the books but I do skip bits. And it's a very long beginning, though the bits I'm skipping usually involve singing and trees.

I'll use my Viggo icon so you can imagine Aragorn at the Prancing Pony. Though he doesn't have this hat. ;)
What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 8:32 pm on 17 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I skipped so much the first time I read FotR. In fact, I thought "The Council Of Elrond" couldn't possibly be that important because it was just pages and pages of talking and history. Turns out that was not a smart place to skip, as I was a bit confused by everything that happened after that. When I saw the movie the first thing I said after was, "It really makes a lot more sense with the Council of Elrond," and my brother was flabbergasted.

Edited at 2008-03-17 08:32 pm (UTC)
gilpin25 at 8:39 pm on 17 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
No, well I always think the one snag with the books (apart from the singing) is the Harry Potter Problem - Frodo has all the boring bits as well as some good ones. I quite like the Council chapter, though there is a heck of a lot of introductions and backstory. I'm glad they didn't do all that in the film.

Do you think we're selling this to her? ;)
What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 8:43 pm on 17 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I liked it, too, after I actually read it!

It's been so long since I've read LotR; I should put those on my to re-read list because I really do love them. Especially Faramir, who is so Remusy the way he hits on a girl there at the end of all things like the does...

That was my sales pitch. There are ridiculously sexy men in LotR.
bratty_jedi at 9:39 pm on 17 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
There are ridiculously sexy men in LotR.

There are endless chapters of short men with hairy feet walking and singing their way across fields and through forests in FotR.
bratty_jedi at 9:26 pm on 17 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Do you think we're selling this to her? ;)

bratty_jedi at 9:29 pm on 17 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Singing and trees and walking across endless fields going absolutely no where. That is basically a perfect summary of everything I hate about that book.

I like that hat.
littlepixiechic at 12:39 am on 18 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I liked The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King. The Two Towers just was the most boring thing in the world in my opinion. But none of them are fast reads.
bratty_jedi at 9:18 pm on 29 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I'm bored by Fellowship and now you tell me Towers is even more boring? Apparently this job is going to make me read Fellowship but I'm never reading the entire trilogy if I have any say on the matter!
train_lindz at 1:35 pm on 18 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Ever see Clerks 2?
"There is only one Return, and it's of the Jedi."

I've read LotR, and liked them, but didn't love it. It took me several attempts to get started, but once I was in I was hooked. I did find it very repetitive and dry, but when things actually happened, it was exciting.
bratty_jedi at 9:15 pm on 29 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I didn't like Clerks 2 all that much, but I loved that line!

I suspect that would be the case with me, but I can't force myself through all the repetitive and dry stuff at the outset to get to the exciting stuff.
drumher at 6:25 pm on 18 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I doubt I can impart any words of wisdom to make reading/teaching Fellowship any easier on you. My personal experience with Tolkien started when I took an English class in High School and we read and discussed the Trilogy. I can't remember any special things the teacher did but it made a big impact on me and hopefully, you'll do the same with some of your students.

Tolkien's style is difficult to read and every character seems to be known by a multitude of names but I agree with most people that once Aragorn shows up at the Prancing Pony, things start to get going and there's less furry feeted small persons singing.

Good luck.
bratty_jedi at 9:17 pm on 29 March 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Hopefully I'll be able to get past the furry-feeted ones and to Aragorn without too many headaches this time.
tegdoh at 3:23 pm on 09 April 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Okay, I'm going to jump in here and be contrarian.

I absolutely loved LotR, the entire series, in fact. I started by reading The Hobbit in the fourth grade and was completely hooked. Read the whole series by the end of the fifth grade, and several times since then.

I admit that The Two Towers is just a way to tie LotR and RotK together, but it does introduce the Ents. And Pippin looking into the Palantir. And the return of Gandalf... oh, hell, I loved the whole damned series. Yes, even the singing elves. I am a total Tolkien geek.

If I might make a suggestion, start with the Hobbit. I know, I know, extra reading of a series you're not fond of to begin with. : P But it's a much tighter story and a pretty easy read, which might help stimulate your interest in the world that Tolkien has built. The world building is actually a big part of what I loved about the series, so the "boring" stuff at the beginning never really seemed superfluous to me. The action bits were good, too, but I wanted to know more about Hobbits, elves, etc.

Just my two cents.

bratty_jedi at 4:13 pm on 09 April 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I've read the Hobbit and like it just fine. It didn't work to get me into LotR, though.

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