So, I've tried really hard to read Lies My Teacher Told Me.
Fact: I am just not interested in American History books.
Steady reads nothing but very boring non-fiction books, and he's been trying to convince me that I'll like A People's History of the United States. I am told it includes women, but I think that might just be marketting on his part. My sister told me I should read Lies My Teacher Told Me, so I decided to try it first.
I had to skip the chapter on foreign policy entirely, because I just could not make my brain process the information on the page. But as of now, I am on chapter ten, which probably isn't a terrible showing given that I started on Sunday.
Why am I reading an American history book? It was on sale on the three for two table at the bookstore and my sister recommended it. There has also been pressure from the boyfriend to read non-fiction that didn't come from the women's studies shelves. And he might have a point.
But the fact of the matter is, I am not enjoying this book. I thought maybe, since I hated American history in high school, a book devoted to setting right the wrongs of high school American history classes might be a good place to start. Especially given that I enjoyed history in general in school.
It turns out I am really only interested in social studies. The rest of it bores me.
I remember my AP US History class in high school. Not with any fondness, but I do remember it. We sat in our desks in neat rows and columns in alphabetical order, as we did in many of our classes at my super-strict high school. ydelek sat nearby and we were near the middle but in the back on the teacher's far left and we passed a lot of notes mostly about how fucking bored we were.
We took a quiz on some reading I didn't do because it didn't interest me at the beginning of each class period. Then we traded quizzes with our neighbors and I watched the guy sitting next to me stifle laughs at my answers. I just used my vague recollections of elementary school socials studies classes and critical thinking skills to guess at what might be the answer to any given question. And sometimes, I just wrote "a rich white male" or "not a rich white male" as my answer.
I have absolutely no idea what happened after the quiz and grading, but given that ten years later, I could draw you a very accurate picture of the hairstyle of the guy seated in front of me, I'm going to guess I didn't find it the least bit compelling.
I skated through on a combination of a couple of essays we had to write and the miracle of the bell curve. The middle was 85%, and I came out with an 86% for the year. I remember the seating chart from the class; I remember the teacher's penchant for wearing pastel colored trousers; I do not recall learning anything.
This book is doing me better than that, given that Tuesday night at dinner while I was pounding on the topic "I am not enjoying the book I am reading" to Steady, I opened my mouth and said "You know, one of those racist presidents at the turn of the century.", which, clearly shows a mastery of the topic. (Steady, for the record, was a republican in high school and thus fit precisely the mold of someone who would be interested in High School American History, a conservative, privledged white male. He has since discovered socialism.)
I might try the book he wants me to read next since this one didn't do me any good, and I feel like all these books can't be this boring.
(This came to you courtesy of "Got my period today and it was hot outside and this lead to vomitting but fortunately not fainting and so I left work early")
The Fine Print: 2004: "I think I drove everyone I came into contact with in the last week absolutely crazy."