Nothing is quite beautiful alone; nothing but is beautiful in the whole. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature
Most of what I read in grade school sucked.
It was not for want of material. I was lucky to have attended good schools, with access to many books and stories of all kinds. No, my problem was what I was force-fed in class: dry and humorless, assigned by committee, designed to be as encompassing and “important” as possible. I learned quickly to look outside of school for material that entertained me.
Some of the school curriculum was good. Dickens. Shakespeare. Whitman. Others.
The rest wasn’t.
But there were some stories, some essays that were transformative and quietly profound, moving me in ways I couldn’t understand until years later.