The Internet has opened new doors for teenagers trying to cheat or slack off on their homework. However, as one student recently learned, it has also expanded the opportunities to get busted – and in the largest public arena on the planet.
The student had been assigned The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep And Never Had To, by D.C. Pierson, for summer reading. He took to Yahoo Answers and begged visitors for a “complete review” of the book.
The student, writing under the user name ♥ Idiot America ~ ϟƘƦІןן∑x ♥, posted the following:
Can someone completely cover the book ‘The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To’ to me?
School starts on the 22nd for me, and I haven’t been able to finish this book. Can someone give me a complete review, including everything important? I REALLY need this!
AND it’s not because I’m slacking. I only got the list of book a month ago, and it took me a while to get the book because the library I live next to is getting work done, and it was on hold already.
I’ve been busy, as well. And I’m no where near a fast reader. I’ve gotten somewhat through it, but won’t be able to finish it.
Someone please answer this, I have to get this done.
In an interview with TODAY.com, Pierson said that he debated his response because he “didn’t want to be dismissive and defensive.”
Ultimately, he replied to the student’s post with the following:
First off, I’m really excited that my book is being suggested for summer reading. On the other hand, I’m bummed out that you don’t want to try and finish it, and not even because you think it’s bad, but just because it seems like work instead of like fun.
I’m not going to sit here and act like I didn’t sometimes not read assigned books for class in high school.
Even though it’s referenced once in my book, the book you’re avoiding reading, I’ve never actually read “The Scarlet Letter.” So I’m sympathetic to your plight.
But I think you’ll find there’s a ton more sex, swearing, and drugs in my book than anything else you have been or will be assigned in high school, and I don’t mean in the way your teacher will tell you “You know, Shakespeare has more sex and violence than an R-rated movie!”
I mean it’s all there, in terms you will readily understand without having to Google them. Plus not once to I refer to anything as a “bare bodkin” or anything like that.
The author told Today.com that the “huffy list of excuses” bothered him and pointed out that he was able to record the audio version of his 226-page book in only 10 hours.
Pierson took a screen capture of the student’s question and posted it on Tumblr and tweeted, “I’m a full service author.”
The Daily Mail reports that a March report on American high school students showed that national reading levels remain low. The report also indicated that the assigned book lists for high school students are actually the appropriate level for 5th grade students.
According to the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 34 percent of students were rated proficient in reading. Additional results showed that the national reading level for a high school senior was lower in 2009 than in 1992.
Last year marked the lowest SAT critical reading scores in history.