Monday, August 28, 2006

I'm sure I've read this before 

The StarTribune got around to republishing an article from the WaPo on how poor students' vocabulary had gotten ... at Elon College, which is a fairly selective institution. These are not average students in one sense but are so in another -- they do not read good literature. I always find myself at events like J-Wood Saturday Night (such a good event the host needs a few days off) trying to remember the books I read growing up. Mom and Dad subscribed to those Readers Digest Childrens Condensed Books, and Dad was smart enough to know that if he left some of the Classics Illustrateds only sort of hidden but not really, they'd be read. And they were.

Parents also used games. Dad had me playing poker with his friends while Mom was at work (Dad worked nights, and no, it wasn't as bad as this but I did get the occasional swig of a PBR) as well as cribbage. From this I believe I knew how to add any two digit numbers by the time I was six. And I still fancy myself a pretty good Scrabble player, though I'm told I'm too competitive so the family won't play with me. There were very few board games at the house except for Scrabble and Risk until I discovered Avalon-Hill warboarding.

So as I came back from the Cities today I look in the rear view mirror to see Littlest reading The Two Towers. And I think I read it about that same age. And I think she won't be stumped by 'derelict', 'brevity' or 'pith'. It was nothing special I did other than say she could watch the movies only after reading the books.

By the way, she's quite good at cribbage, and we are available to kick your butt in doubles, any time. It'll be good practice.

(h/t: Reader jw.)