Clouds in the Himalayan foothills (around 10,000 ft!).
Copyright (c) 2008 Wendee Holtcamp
"Realistic" people who pursue "practical" aims are rarely as realistic or practical in the long run as dreamers who pursue their dreams.
-- Hans Selye
I started reading A Tale of Two Cities to my son, Sam, several months back. I read it to him at night, but not every night. It's a a long book, and it's got Victorian language which is actually why I wanted to read it to him. I want to work on his reading comprehension skills. He's a straight A student, but you know I feel like kids need to read the classics. He's in 7th grade, and has read Huck Finn and some other things but this is Charles Dickens...something every kid should read.
I am not saying I was ever a Dickens fan. I actually wanted to read the darn thing for myself. We're about 1/3 of the way through. So when I'm putting Sam to bed, I will read a bit and if it's confusing. I stop and say OK Sam what just happened? So far, I am enjoying it, though it's relatively slow. But Sam is bored to tears. I've mentioned this to a couple people, and they inevitably say "Oh, A Tale of Two Cities? Great book!" Hmm. That happened again today, and just a couple weeks ago I'd told Sam ok we can stop reading it. I am told that it gets better as it goes on. Today I was told the message is about ultimate sacrifice. So I guess I must continue... but I'm very interested in your thoughts. Did you read it? Like it? Hate it? I will say that Dickens has some very long sentences (but nothing compared to Descartes!)!
I also started reading Henry David Thoreau's On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, which is a short essay and reprinted at the back of my copy of Walden (which I hate to admit I haven't read). I am sure I read Civil Disobedience before, in high school, but I'm loving it! After I finish, I'll write more about this, but I find it particularly interesting because he is a proponent of the concept "That government is best which governs least” which we typically associate with the Republican party. His main reason is that government is corrupt. Ironically, after reading his essay, I'd tend to agree. But not that I'd align with the other issue sthat have dominated the Republican party of recent years. I think Ronald Reagan once said, "It's not that I've left my Party, it's that my Party has left me." That line was repeated in this campaign by some prominent Republicans - I can't remember off the top of my head. Maybe Buckley.
Gotta go, Christmas party tonight!