A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5
In the time period since I began writing these reviews, I have learned more about each work of literature I have been assigned to focus on, as well as its creator, than I ever did when I had to read these books/stories/plays/essays for school. I am sure that this is the nature of reading things as an adult as opposed to doing so as a child; your sharper, more perceptive mind (enhanced through experiencing the ups, downs, ins, outs, odds, evens, lefts, rights, circles, squares, rectangles, and ovals of life) is primed to receive this information and store it, not to simply have it dumped upon you against your will and forced to memorize it. Memorizing things does not help you learn them, as we all should know by now (and if you don’t know, now you know baby bayyyby - sorry, I couldn’t help it; I am in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn right now so I would be remiss if I did not show a little love to Christopher Wallace at some point during this here review).
What helps you learn things, then? Well, there is only one way to truly understand the things that you purport to be learning, and that is by actually paying attention. What do I mean by this? Well, it is simple - take anything that you wish to know more about and (this is the key right here) put in a genuine, concentrated effort to gather more information about it. That is really all there is to it; everything else is merely auxiliary.
All of this is to say that I had no idea that Ichabod Crane was a real person. I did not think that such a name could have ever been given to a child upon their birth - what kind of parent would dish out such a cruel fate to their offspring? Furthermore, I had always thought that Ichabod Crane was the Headless Horseman - although this was probably only because of the song “Runaway” by Kanye West and featuring Pusha T, who likens his car with the top off to Ichabod Crane. No reference is made to the Headless Horseman as a separate entity. Just Ichabod. As a result, I (along with, I assume, at least one other person) began to use the two names interchangeably.
I guess Pusha T owes an entire generation of short story misconstruers an apology, lest we go around making fools of ourselves with our talk of Ichabod Crane, the Headless Horseman himself.