I meant to return this book to my dad.

That was about 10 years ago.

I always forget I have it until I need it again and remember I haven't ever got a copy for myself.

Now my kids have started using it, too.  Tonight I noticed Azia reading it at the table and asked her what she was doing. She told me about Poe's work her teacher read to her on Halloween and showed me that story and then the one she was reading today. Azia is finding out all sorts of new things she's interested in and has really learned a lot about current events and world issues from Mr. Krantz. That, at least, I have really enjoyed about her experience this year — amid a lot of other depressing goings on concerning school.

After Azia told me what she was doing, Israel started telling me all about Poe as a mystery writer. He explained the different sub-genres within that whole area of writing for which Poe is often given credit and the characteristics of each type of story and then how he'd influenced science fiction as well. I asked him where he learned all this and he told me he watched a documentary and then read some things about it.

Israel tells me random things like this nearly every day that he's learned that I have no idea about, but I usually at least know what he's talking about when it comes to writing and literature.

Unfortunately little of what Israel knows comes from or even relates to school. I'm working on getting him organized this week in the hope he won't be failing English anymore. It appears he has about four dozen worksheets a day to complete and then he also needs to remember to turn them in after he completes them. This is more difficult that it seems when your idea of organization is folding every piece of paper you recieve into very small squares and shoving them in whatever pants, coat or bag pocket is near you until you think about those papers again and want to finish them.  It's even more difficult when you don't actually ever think about those papers again or want to finish them until someone tells you once again you're failing English and suggests you should maybe empty your pockets.

These days it's really hard to to tell if it's my kids or their school that is going to drive me to total madness first. 

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