Saturday, February 28, 2015

In Which Jadi Rants about Mississippi

My county has no bookstore.  Sometimes, I am utterly convinced half the county is illiterate.  I went to high school with people who could barely read.

It’s annoying to be in in tenth grade, listening to a classmate read, who doesn’t recognize words I would think should be relatively easy.

It’s downright depressing to be sitting in an upper level college literature class with the same problem.  Granted, not everyone in a college lit class is a guaranteed English major, but still…

So, I have to go 20-30 miles either north or south to get to the nearest bookstore.  We have some secondhand places, though. Only one of which has a good selection of books.  The WalMart book aisle is a joke.  Sometimes I find some gems at the Dollar General.  Rarely, but it has been known to happen.

Mississippi is the worst in everything.  Poorest, fattest, poorest healthcare, poorest, worst education, highest teen pregnancy and I think even the highest STD rate.  Worst education.  (yes, I am well aware I listed some twice)

They had common core.  Say what you will about it, but given that Mississippi cuts the education funding every time they have to cut somewhere, and common core would’ve meant more money for that, and Mississippi’s at the bottom of the totem pole in education…

Stupidity breeds stupidity.  And Mississippi is the worst in everything, or has the highest percentages of the bad things.

But this isn’t about how crappy my state is.  Well, I’m not technically from here.  I was born, and my family originates, in Louisiana.  And yes, it kind of is.  I'm aggravated tonight, and writing is kind of the only thing I feel like doing.

I was picked on for being smart.  For reading in middle and high school.

I would finish my work and want to pull out my book and read.  I had a teacher tell me he was sick of me not working ahead and made me write definitions on two separate occasions.  Same teacher took my book away once.  Bastard.  So I had a notebook and wrote after I was done.  If he didn’t see a book, just saw me writing, he left me alone.  I might have even kept my textbook out.

My best friend had similar experiences.  Not with that teacher, but with a substitute teacher.

No, no, reading isn’t important.  Like hell.

My little brother’s teacher encourages them to read and keep a journal.  I’m glad.  Maybe they’ll be kids who think.  Maybe they’ll get out of the county, or make the county a better place.

People need to read, even if it’s just a book or two a year.  Even if it takes the whole year to get through the damn book.  I can’t judge anyone who reads a book that slowly.  It took me all of last year to through The Hobbit.

More importantly, if someone wants to read, how dare any teacher discipline her for that?  I was done with my work.  I was already ahead of everyone, and he expected me to move even farther ahead?  Hell no.

I wasn’t talking.  I wasn’t disturbing the other students.  I was reading.

I’m really against dumb laws, but there should be something protecting smart students from the likes of teachers like that.

I should have told my mom.

Well, I should have told my mom when it happened.

My mom is scary, okay?  She would’ve never tolerated that if she’d known.  And she would’ve raised hell for it.

I have a good mom.

Getting back on topic, however, things need to change.  It’s like Ray Bradbury said, “You don’t need to burn books to destroy a culture.  You just have to get people to stop reading them.”

And sometimes I feel like there is absolutely no culture here.

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