Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Plodding on

I've been good, and have spent the evening doing the transcription activity for my next assignment. It would have been incredibly difficult and time-consuming, but a fellow student shared a tip on facebook - she said that if you download something onto Windows media player, you can play it back at half speed. This not only made everything so much easier, it also added to the entertainment factor, in that the speaker sounded like a very drunk Ozzy Osbourne. 

So now that's done, I have to read the rest of Carter's book. I love reading and I'll give anything a go (I read Twilight, for goodness sake), but this book is a real struggle. Carter does love words, that's for sure, although several people have pointed out that he's not so keen on commas. One teacher doing the course said she has to go through each chapter adding punctuation before she can read it properly. It's given me a better understanding of some of the struggling readers at school, though. I've read two chapters so far, and I've read some sentences two or three times, but if you were to ask me what I'd just read about, I wouldn't have a clue. Most of my OU courses have made me feel a bit brainless to start with, but I think the feeling will last a tad longer with this one. I also feel a bit peeved as it's not really about language per se, but rather about how it's used creatively. Oh well, I've only got five more assignments and a final essay to go. Sigh...

Another thing that's making the reading of Carter's book so tedious, is that it's made me think of a different book that I now need to read. Sometimes, something will remind me of a book or story, and I have to read it immediately. For example, Son Number Two and I were watching a Bear Grylls thing on people who got stuck in a canyon, and I then had to go and re-read the 127 Hours book (Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Much better than the film, but you knew that.) Carter spends so much time explaining terms he's made up, that it reminds me of the Lemony Snicket books, A Series of Unfortunate Events, in which 'complicated' terms are explained by the author saying, 'A phrase which here means...'. 

The best children's books ever

As much as I like a huge number of children's books, I have to say that A Series of Unfortunate Events has to beat every one of them. I read them all (there are 13) to Son Number Two as they were published several years ago. We would finish one, laughing and sniggering every evening, and then have to wait several months for the next one to come out. They are great books for adults to read to children - they're like Pixar films in that the bits that appeal to the adults go right over the children's heads. They taught my son so many bits of useless information and more about apostrophe-use than any English teacher. If you're a teacher, you have a duty to read them to your class (you can link them in with the Tudors somehow...).

As I know that I have to finish Carter's book, I'm bribing myself with a non-stop read of all 13 books, from The Bad Beginning to The End. I'm still not optimistic, though.


  1. Alas, this half-term's novel is already chosen (by popular demand, as well). However, the title does introduce apostrophe use - The Firework-Maker's Daughter. A nice gentle story in the run up to Christmas. Then in January it's Tom Sawyer (will take a while), followed by Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and all wrapped up (in the Summer Term) with Wuthering Heights. So I'm afraid there will be no time - and if there is, then Mr Pratchett might get a look in.

    1. Which Terry Pratchett would you go with? I love the Tiffany Aching ones.