October 2 1987
Drennan speaks on Year of the Reader
1987 is the Year of the Reader, and it was with extreme pleasure that Interviewed a respected reader, Mr. William Drennan, English teacher and 1986 recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award. Mr. Drennan was pleased to share his views on reading in this spotlight on the Reader.
Meg Lobitz: Do you consider yourself a "Reader?" That is, someone who loves to read and reads avidly?
William Drennan: Yes, I always read and hope to read until the day I die. I grew up with reading--my mother always kept reading materials around the house. Starting young was very positive for me, because reading is inspirational and educational.
ML: How often do you read in a month?
WD: I really couldn't give you a time estimate in, say, hours or weeks. I read continually--magazines, newspapers, and I'm always involved in a book. I don't have a regular schedule for reading, but I read when the opportunity arises.
ML: Was there any special time in your life when you clearly wanted to read more?
WD: I became hooked on reading during my first two years of high school, when we would read approximately 20-24 books per year for English class. I would have to say, thought, that now is the time I would like to read more. I have enough experience with books that I've learned to appreciate them.
ML: Since you probably read a lot of literature for your classes, do you read other types of books for fun?
WD: I read many various works of poetry for fun, and also a great deal of nonfiction nature / outdoors books. However, my many friends who read are always recommending various books to me. I'm widely open to suggestions about books.
ML: What books would you recommend every high school student read?
WD: I recommend To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee because it contains great lessons on morality and life for young and old. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is the Great American Novel. It tells of a past society and is a great adventure story. I think every student should also be familiar with Shakespeare and various poets and their works, which give a different reflection of our culture.
ML: What is your reaction when you hear the word censorship?
WD: I am a strong advocate of academic freedom; however, I do feel that school curriculum should be limited by good taste. I am completely opposed to censorship in public libraries, because I think that all writings and ideas should be open to the public.