Posted By Roger Stritmatter on September 19, 2015
I should probably be reading and commenting on student papers, so I am trying to see if I can come up with a good reason for playing hooky, and I’ve found it. I’m reading Ta Nehesi Coates Between the World and Me.
It is a terrifically moving fusion of autobiography, philosophy and advocacy that really should be read and thought about or with by any educated person in the United States (not to mention elsewhere).
I just got to page 26, where Coates is describing the bad circumstances and consequent results of his own Baltimore public school system (mis)education: he and his fellow students, Coates says, were being taught to memorize “theorems extracted from the world they were created to represent.”
Suddenly that seemed very familiar. That’s exactly what orthodox Shakespeare scholars do for a living. Some of them are so expert at it that they frequently can’t distinguish between the theorem and the reality itself.
p.s. (10/8/2015) – check out this notice of Mr. Coates award of a MacArthur grant, just a few weeks after my blog! Congratulations, Mr. Coates! I am still reading the book…..