There are many stories in the Xj Kennedy`s seventh edition that are great and students learn a lot from them. The seventh edition compiles many stories in the past and some of the new stories from different authors that students love. The version contains poetry, fiction, and drama stories. Students have enjoyed the various stories over the years with everyone having their favorite stories and authors. However, the two stories that I would like for my class to focus on are, A Place I`ve Never Been by David Leavitt and Teenage Wasteland by Anne Tyler. The stories are different but a little related since they both portray misunderstandings from others and self-discovery.
A Place I`ve Never Been is about two friends female and male where the male who is called Nathan is homosexual and the female who is Celia struggles with overweight problem. Celia`s overweight problem has kept her withdrawn from the society as well as Nathan who also feels romantically different from the society. Their inner struggles have drawn them together making them friends. Celia starts losing weight and withdraws from their friendship with Nathan. She begins working on self-acceptance while Nathan gains weight and leave in fear of contracting AIDS. I love the story because of the lesson it contains. It involves the common struggles that even students experience. The confusion of sexuality and self-worth is a problem faced by many with fear of rejection in from the family and society. They can affect the life of a student academically if not well addressed. The story tries to portray equality between men and women in the story using the self-struggles that both Celia and Nathan were experiencing. Students can as well learn the importance of self-acceptance from the story.
In Anne Tyler`s story, Teenage Wasteland, the story is about a schoolboy Donny Coble and his mother Daisy Coble who was a teacher and later became a housewife. Donny`s father is always away leaving parental struggles of raising a teenage boy to the mother. There are so many misunderstandings between Donny and her mom. Donny experiences problems at school and has low grades due to his unmotivated attitude. He also struggles with fitting in at school. Her mother does not understand the reason for his low grades and blames herself for poor parenting. He makes a slight improvement when her mom starts monitoring him, but they act out at school by smoking, skipping class and drinking. He is taken to a psychologist who says that he does not have an emotional issue and therefore his parents resolve to get him a tutor. The tutor is the only adult that Donny gets along with and irrespective of his low grades even when working with the trainer, change is seen in his behavior. Donny is expelled from school, and his tutor blames it on the school. He is taken to a public school that goes on for a while till Donny disappears and neither his instructor nor girlfriend knows where he is, and his parents are left wondering.
This story is important with many things to learn about it. Many parents fail to understand their teenage children creating a situation of rebellion from them. The students through the story can learn that even their parents sometimes do not know what they are going through and for that reason they should share with them. The two stories will help my class since they contain situations that occur in the daily life of the students.
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