ME: (Returning Aimee Bender's fabulous literary novel The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake to the library, hoping to start a discussion about the book's magical realism.) This is a great book. It's about a girl who discovers that she can taste the emotions of whoever who made her food.
LIBRARIAN: Oh, does it have recipes in it?
ME: Um, nope. No, it doesn't. (End of conversation.)
I suppose I could have kept trying but had a moment of what's-the-pointism. Been walking around a bit stunned since I started teaching, wondering what kind of educational budget cuts or saturation of bubble gum culture have brought me students who have never heard of A Catcher in the Rye? Claude Monet?
How one of the most frustrating questions in the world has become "Do we have to take notes?" because what it really means is "Do we have to know this?"
Yes, dammit. Yes, you do.