Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Short Reign of Pippin IV

From the diary: “April 20, 1982

“[Mrs Lennox] came up to me today just before [American Lit] class started and asked me if I had had any help in writing my summary of The Short Reign of Pippin IV by John Steinbeck. I didn’t know why anybody would ask me something like that. At first I thought maybe she meant I was supposed to. Apparently she thought the summary was too good for me to have done it by myself without help. I was about to tell her I had written it after I returned the book to the library but I stopped myself after I realized that would sound bad. I did say that I wrote it in a hurry. (It was one of those knock-it-off-the-night-before type summaries.) She didn’t believe me. Something that good must’ve had quite a bit of work put into it. I stopped arguing with her.”

Considering my angst over the Crucible paper I was stunned to get an “A” for the Pippin summary. The Pippin summary was of less weight when it came to adding up the final grade, naturally. But why the discrepancy? I partly explained it to myself, “Apparently Mrs Lennox hadn’t read the book so she couldn’t judge it from [her own] experience.”

I was reading Steinbeck for the author paper we had to write. Pippin is an amusing little book. The character Pippin is chosen to be the figurehead king of France but he’s too idealistic to sit on a throne and say nothing.

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