Sometimes I stumble upon a news headline that truly leaves me scratching my head. Take the book Twilight for instance.
I opened my email the other day to find an article entitled, “Twilight Is Now Required College Reading.” My first immediate reaction was, “Twilight? The vampire book series for teenagers?” A little further digging online confirmed what I found utterly unbelievable.
Apparently the book is being featured in an Introduction to Fiction course at Ohio State University – where “Twilight” is in fact on the syllabus. Could you image strapping yourself with student loans in excess of $20,000 a year for an undergraduate education only to find out that some teenage fiction novel is part of your required reading? Needless to say, I’d be over at the registrations office dropping THAT course.
I’ll admit, I’ve never actually read the entire book, but I did read a few excerpts online when it was first released. I can tell you with great certainty that was enough for me! After all I’m 35 years old, not part of the lucrative teenage demographic the book is geared for.
Now I’m in no way disputing the writing ability of author Stephenie Meyer, I’m just saying it’s not my kind of story. But seriously, does a book whose credibility lies strictly in its popularity in society truly belong on a college reading list?
Almost every state in the nation is debating some kind of education reform – with employers continually voicing their concern that college graduates seem ill prepared for the real world.
I can’t imagine that reading a book such as “Twilight” is the best use of a student’s time (and money) and I’m sure the subject will never come up on interviews as they begin their careers.
There’s nothing wrong with fiction as entertainment, just as long as you view it as such. I’m sure by offering the popular teenage novel in a college course it will certainly drive traffic to an otherwise overlooked offering, but education isn’t supposed to be about what’s popular, it’s supposed to inspire you to learn and explore ideas you may not have thought about before.
It begs the question, what will college students truly learn after reading “Twilight”? Not much in my opinion – that is of course unless you’re in love with a vampire.