Completely Inaccurate Descriptions of the Books I Read in High School: Another Dumb List Article

I went to kind of a weird high school. It was (for lack of a more eloquent way to describe it) an all girls Catholic school [1], run by militant feminists. If you know anything about Catholicism, you’ll find that due to the fact that people like both fucking [2] and science, the Catholic church is running out of priests and nuns. As a result, by the time I got to my high school, the place was overrun by the only people willing to take such a thankless job for so little pay:

a)  Kids just out of college who didn’t quite know how to teach yet and
b)  50 year old divorcees who drove ancient VW buses and wore only gaucho pants.


The newbie teachers would never last very long. This was because most of them were men in their 20s that we would sexually harass so badly they wouldn’t make it through the year. [3] As a result, the feminist divorcees took most of the control and there was no stopping them.


The whole scenario was kind of hilarious but it was easy to get sick of. As a teenager having any kind of ideology, be it feminism or religion, shoved down your throat usually results in either unwavering acceptance or complete defiance. For the most part my high school produced either deeply religious feminists (oxymoron?) or women who were just plain sick of feminism. I was of course the latter.[4]


The primary reason for my deep resentment of all that chick stuff was what I had to deal with in English class. I’ve always loved reading and writing, and was excited to be in the advanced classes. I was horrified when I got there. We never did any creative writing or even read any of the classics. I ended up reading books like Catch 22, 1984, In Cold Blood and The One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest all on my own.


What I did end up reading where a bunch of books, (some of them notable, some not) that basically ended up being high-brow versions of Lifetime Channel movies….And I use the term read loosely. I tried at first, but my teachers were so biased and the books were so boring that I stopped reading them altogether. When it came time to write a critial anylisis paper, I just repeated my teachers’ opinions right back to them and thus, ended up acing most of those papers. (This is also how I’ve managed to trick my friends’ parents into liking me.)


The end result was actually not so bad. Due to the fact that I had to write countless papers exploring topics I had an intense disregard for, be it female coming of age stories or Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savoir, I have essenially become a professional bullshit artist.


So now, ladies and gentelman, I present to you, the wildly inaccurate list that helped me along on this journey, complete with descriptions of~




The Scarlet Letter– Nathaniel Hawthorne
This pilgrim chick bones some priest guy and everyone gets mad. She must be a big fan of high school sports teams because she is always wearing a big red varsity letter. Something about being a witch, maybe.


The Bean Trees – Barbara Kingsolver
Some girl ends up with a baby. They are in Arizona and drive around a lot. Various men take advantage of various ladies. I’m pretty sure I only got through the first six pages of this.


Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Orphan girl has typically horrible orphan life in Victorian times. She gets with some guy, then almost marries her cousin, then gets back with the first guy. Turns out theres a crazy lady in the attic. I think there is a fire or something. Everyone pretty much ends up miserable.


The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros
This Latina girl is living in the ghetto and it sucks. Everyone gets raped. The girl gets her period.


The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
A family of pretty white girls are missionaries in the jungle because the main chick’s husband says so. The little one gets bitten by a snake or something. I never finished the Sparknotes so I have no idea how it ends. [5]


The Red Tent – Anita Diamant
It’s Bible times and a bunch of chicks are getting their periods in the desert. Some dude is banging all of them. Maybe they were really into camping? Yeah. That sounds right.


I think what we were supposed to take away from reading these books was that men are all assholes and will probably try to rape you and also, getting your period is supposed to be meaningful for some reason. What I actually took from it was that feminism is stupid and boring and I was smarter than most of my teachers. I also learned that if you are on the right side of sexual harassment, it is both hilarious and awesome.[6]


That’s probably over simplifying it, but I guess I never thought of being a chick, a broad or a dame as being a handicap. Believe me, I have plenty of handicaps. Being a chick? Bottom 10. Was I secretly empowered by my annoying feminist English teachers? Maybe, but I never really looked at it that way. I’ve always just done whatever I felt like doing and didn’t really care what anyone thought of it.


Yeah, I know, being a chick really sucks sometimes. (The obvious example being all those anti-lady healthcare issues that have become popular as of late.) [7] One way or another though, everyone has some sort of struggle that they have to deal with, either personally or professionally. If you’re not fighting one battle, you’re fighting another. All that matters is that you just keep fighting.[8][9]


[1] No we didn’t have those cute little Japanese school girl uniforms and shut up.
[2] Yeah, yeah, except for all that sexual abuse. I get it, but I’m not talking about that right now.
[3] We also used to harass the 19 year old janitor who we nicknamed Sugartits.
[4] As a side note, I’ve never really believed in God either.
[5] The amount of time I spent on Sparknotes in order to write this essay was waaaay longer than any of the time I did that in high school.
[6] Yeah, yeah, sexual harassment is wrong, but Sugartits was asking for it.
[7] I am aware that I am totally oversimplyfing this as well, but again that’s not what I’m talking about right now.
[8] Cue the inspirational music.
[9] One day, I’m going to write an article entirely in footnotes.

Christa Weiss

Christa Weiss is the editor & web mistress at Christa performed in the 2014 Boston Comedy Festival and was the February 2014 Comic in Residence at the Comedy Studio in Cambridge, MA. She participated in the inaugural Chicago Women’s Funny Festival, the Women in Comedy Festival, the She Dot Comedy Festival, the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, the Cleveland Comedy Festival and is a featured performer on Rooftop Comedy. She produces Broad Appeal Comedy Night, a female-focused comedy show in Boston. She also appears in commercials for the New England Sports Network (NESN).