Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bobbing thru

Once in a while, I get a book that is really good.  Such as "Life with Bob: Heroine Keeps Track of Books, Plot Ensues" by Pamela Paul.  Paul is the editor of the New York Review of Books and editor of all book coverage in the New York Times.  

You probably know that one version of a basic education is "readin', riting' and 'rithmetic."  Reading comes first and reading can fill your life and your mind.  So, by the time you reach 40 years old, you have done plenty of reading if you are the typical, modern, literate person.  In school, including grad school, we often pick some books that we think will add to your life and understanding of yourself and the world.  We tell the student to read the books and write about them.  Ten years later, a person might not be able to remember if they went to grad school, much less what books they were supposed to read there.

Some teachers have earned many grad credits and read many books. Those same students have years of experience teaching their subjects.  So, I wanted to take some time with them and use it to ask them to think back over the books they have read and see what they feel is a summation of their reading experience.  I wrote about teaching a review of one's reading here:

Pamela Paul kept Bob, her book of books, a list of what she read.  In our class, we thought back over what we had read, starting with The Pokey Little Puppy and The Story of Ferdinand the Bull all the way to Multivariate Statistical Analysis.  After a few days of remembering, and rooting around in old books and notes, we thought of a few more.  Often, looking over somebody else's list, we remembered that we too had read Forever Amber or Peyton Place.

I recommend Paul's book.  It is a great way to stir up memories of childhood reading, teen reading, and all the reading since.  It is also a way to live as a sister to 7 siblings, all boys, in a house with limited funds, to go to college as a wannabee writer, as a visiting college student in a French household - a chance to meet an interesting person and rather quickly live through another life.

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