• Dickens Is Missing

    I’ll make this one short and sweet. Where the hell is Dickens? My son is now a senior in high school, and all this time I’ve been waiting with anticipation each year to see which books have been selected for the high school English classes for the year. I am sad to report that now, for four straight years, we’ve had no Dickens on the list. I’m not a fan of Common Core, but I am a fan of Dickens. When I was in high school, I read Great Expectations. I read A Christmas Carol on my own. Now, Dickens’ novels are missing from high school reading lists. When I…

  • Classically Beautiful

    On Sunday, my daughter completed her History Day Project. She had chosen Jane Austen as her subject, as she wanted to study someone from history who was a woman and had a literary connection. As the parameters of the assignment were pretty broad, she decided Jane was a good fit for the project. Of course, I wholeheartedly agreed, and I had a great time helping her research and understand Austen and her role in generating readers. When we think of the classics, we tend to think that perhaps they are difficult to read and understand. I do my best to urge my students in my writing classes to give some…

  • Go Ahead—Call Me Corny

    * * * Last night I snuggled in and turned on the television, which is something I don’t normally do. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but during the months of November and December, I tell my husband to clear some room on the DVR because I record every Hallmark movie so I can watch them from the time the semester ends until Christmas. This is when I get to be “ruler of the television,” as I watch Christmas movie after Christmas movie and feel the holiday spirit. It’s a lovely part of the down time I get with my family, and I love it. I won’t apologize for…

  • The Unending Appeal of Ebenezer Scrooge

    “Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did NOT die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.” — Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol *** It’s about that time. Any day now, I will be breaking out my copy of Dickens’s novel “A Christmas Carol,” as well as my two favorite copies of films depicting one of my all-time favorite characters: Ebenezer Scrooge. (The George C. Scott…