LITERATURE ABUSE – PART II – PREVENTION

What to do if you suspect your child is becoming an English major:
1. Talk to your child in a loving way. Show your concern. Let her know you won’t abandon her but that you aren’t spending a hundred grand to put her through Stanford so she can clerk at Waldenbooks either. But remember that she may not be able to make a decision without help; perhaps she has just finished Madame Bovary and is dying of arsenic poisoning.
2. Face the issue. Tell her what you know, and how: “I found this book in your purse. How long has this been going on?” Ask the hard question: Who is this Count Vronsky?
3. Show her another way. Move the television set into her room. Introduce her to frat boys.
4. Do what you have to do. Tear up her library card. Make her stop signing her letters as “Emma.” Force her to take a math class or minor in Spanish. Transfer her to a Florida college. You may be dealing with a life-threatening problem if one or more of the following applies:
* She can tell you how and when Thomas Chatterton died.
* She names one or more of her cats after a Romantic poet.
* Next to her bed is a picture of Lord Byron, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, or any scene from the Lake District. Most importantly, remember, you are not alone; seek help for yourself or someone you love, contact the nearest chapter of the American Literature Abuse Society, or look under ALAS in your local phone directory.

OR you could do what I do … Ignore the problem and READ! :-)

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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4 Comments

  • I loved this! I myself am a college freshman, and one of the few English majors at the school. Rock on English majors! Why aren’t there more of us?

  • I loved this! I myself am a college freshman, and one of the few English majors at the school. Rock on English majors! Why aren’t there more of us?

  • Teehee! I used to celebrate Tolstoy’s birthday. I had a picture of him on my wall. I even learned Russian and attempted to learn how to play whist. Dostoevsky was jealous. I didn’t have a picture of HIM on my wall. (I was cheap. I couldn’t find an old National Geographic with his picture.) Alas, that was a million years ago, before ALAS! I’m afraid there’s no help for me. Ochen zhal. :(

  • Teehee! I used to celebrate Tolstoy’s birthday. I had a picture of him on my wall. I even learned Russian and attempted to learn how to play whist. Dostoevsky was jealous. I didn’t have a picture of HIM on my wall. (I was cheap. I couldn’t find an old National Geographic with his picture.) Alas, that was a million years ago, before ALAS! I’m afraid there’s no help for me. Ochen zhal. :(

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