Well for the first time in the ARC Challenge I found myself at a loss as to what kind of art piece could best represent my feelings about "Young Enthusiasts" by Elizabeth Jenkins
I had bought this book from a jumble sale many years ago, because it's pages were old and yellowed and it had that lovely smell of old paper. As part of this challenge I had decided to read some of the "old, yellowed" books I have collected over the years, and as this book is still available to buy I excitedly gave it a go.....da da daaaaaaaaaa......
I have read many different types of book and styles of writing over the years, but this book stands out in it's total uniqueness.
It would be impossible to give away the story...as there isn't one. The book seems to be a combination of supposed anecdotal memories, none of which I found particularly emotive, and intellectual discussion/observances with regard to the pros and cons of the educational system of the time.
The book itself is only 214 pages long...the first 30 pages felt like an eternity....then I went out into my blessed garden in order to fortify myself and finish the rest.
Even then I could be heard exclaiming, ranting and groaning under the immense effort not to give it up as a waste of a sunny day (much to the amusement of my family).
By page 189 I caved.....surely it must all come together at the end? I read the last page.....went back to read the remaining pages as I MUST have missed something....nope.
This semi-fictional piece of writing reads like a note book/diary with no discernible timeline...I didn't know if we were in the 1930's or 1947 (date of publication). Mostly the lead character(I don't recall her mentioning her own name) is first inspired by a child's appearance...then whether they have any true interest in the subject she teaches (English Grammar). Basically, she has her favourites, whilst being mortally offended by a parents out right accusation of the fact. These are the "beautiful" people as I came to regard them...attractive, elegant and with the souls of the romantic poets...
Whilst the children of "insolvents"(as it would be gauche to call a person poor), though to be encouraged to improve their writing style where inevitably cast aside as being unworthy of the expenditure of one's nervous energy....
not a direct quote, but very much in the style of the author, and certainly the impression I was forming of the personality of the teacher telling the "story".
I actually had a headache from trying to make the book mean anything at all, other than being a "whining monstrosity of self importance"
I only managed to make a piece of art from this book when I remembered I was supposed to be making a journal page about "Anger" for Jeanette's free First Aid Journalling class.
Anger is something I reserve for the most deserving of cases...and one such cause in my life is a wasted education...not because a child may be difficult to engage with, But because the system doesn't encourage them enough. I describe these as the "invisible" children. The ones who work quietly at the back of the class, drawing no attention to themselves, just getting by, or the ones who struggle for no immediately apparent reason. I know there are children who appear to have absolutely no interest in learning at all, but maybe they just haven't met the right teacher yet?
(can you tell I struggled not to rant over this one lol ?)
Enjoy :D XXX