Friday, September 09, 2005

Passing the Fifty-Book Mark

A couple of days ago I finished reading my fiftieth book of the year. Freddyand Fredericka isn't YA, but I did enjoy it, anyway. Except for the epilogue. I hate epilogues.

Last year I read sixty books. I have three and a half months to read ten more books to hit last year's mark. I think I should be able to do it, because I have a week's vacation the end of the month and should be spending some time in a car. I need to find me a bunch of short books!

And Still More On My Not-so-Stellar College Experience

I was writing a couple of days ago about things I learned in college in classes taught by uninspiring--or worse--professors. In thinking about college, I have to say I can't remember any outstanding professors. No one changed my life. I read Lord Jim, though, and actually liked it. I started listening to classical music because there were no words to distract me while I was studying. I still listen to it, unencumbered by any actual knowledge of the stuff. I was an English and history major, which in those days meant a lot of reading and lectures, so I became a compulsive book highlighter and note taker. Today I'll underscore articles in magazines and take notes while I'm talking to my mother on the phone.

Not only can I not remember any outstanding professors, in many cases I can't remember professors at all. I remember books and...stuff. The folkstories about Ethan Allen I came upon while researching something else. Novels by Robertson Davies and Mordecai Richler. I read their work for decades after I got out of school and no longer had to. My junior year I watched The Rowdyman, a famous Canadian movie no one down here has heard of, with a classroom full of students I didn't know. That's a lot liking watching a movie by yourself. Being by yourself is the best way to watch a moving that's going to leave you stunned the way The Rowdyman left me.

Maybe going to college isn't about the teachers, good or bad. Maybe it's about the experiences you'll have. Maybe it's not about someone teaching you something. Maybe it's about you learning something. Which is quite a different thing.

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