It is called vindication. And it reads like the sweet, smooth words of Jane Austen, the biting and truthful wit of Mark Twain, and the timeless universality of William Shakespeare. I should know, because I am from St. Louis: the eighth most literate city in America.
After ranting about a bogus report that St. Louis was the third most dangerous city in the world (see my post “Lock Your Doors: There Is Danger in The Lou“), I was a little over the moon this morning to hear that my beloved city finally fared well in one of these lists our society seems so enamored with making. And this one is actually legitimate, unlike the one that ranked us among world cities dominated by war and drug cartels. Apparently, a Central Connecticut State University study found St. Louis to rank among the top ten literate cities in America, according to a CNN article.
So we might shoot you, but at least we will be able to read the story when it makes in the papers the next day.
Every English teacher in the city should be proud right now. All those painful book reports we graded, all the groaning we let roll off our backs as we assigned homework chapters and summer reading, all those lessons in sentence diagramming, all the class discussions that resembled pulling teeth and exercises in non-sequitur thoughts more than literary dissection…they have all paid off.
It is nice to see our city rise to the occasion and succeed in an arena inspired by natives such as T.S. Eliot, Kate Chopin, Tennessee Williams, Eugene Field, Marianne Moore, William S. Burroughs, and Maya Angelou, instead of just being known as the home of rappers Nelly and Akon. That is a different kind of literacy, though I am sure we would probably rank pretty high on that list as well. I am going to say that makes us well-rounded.
Now if only we could figure out how to pronounce Gravois, mostaccioli, wash, and fork, I bet we would get bumped to #5 on the list.