Thursday, July 30, 2009

Scribbling...Classically, Of Course!

Today I want to point you to Heather's latest post on Sanctified Woman, and take a minute to ask, what's on your summer "book-camp" list? Heather writes,
As a homeschool parent, every summer becomes a "boot-camp" or should I say "book-camp" of sorts for me! I compile books to be read - digested - and ideas to be apprehended.

This summer The Soul of Science subtitled Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy by Nancy Pearcy and Charles Thaxton is now in my portable book bag with tattered pages and highlighted in a multitude of colors...
While I'm not a homeschool parent, I still go to book-camp every year. An ongoing part of my list this summer has been Susan Wise Bauer's The Well-Educated Mind. I have to confess: I like lists, and Bauer's book has a lot of lists from which I can check things off.

But what I like even more is that she tells my inner child, who secretly longs to scribble in the margins of books, that it's okay to emerge from the shadows.

At first, reading has to do with grammar: absorbing content and noting characters, events, order, and big ideas. But then reading starts to incorporate the dialectic, or logic stage. That, for me, is the fun part, when I pull out my pencil and begin to note the connections and reactions that appear as I process the book.

For example... Author is assuming here that X is true, but has said elsewhere that Y is true. Or, When did Character begin to describe herself this way? Last chapter was different. Or, This quote sounds more like author than character.

I'm reading Eagleton's Literary Theory in prep for grad school, and I'm having a great time disagreeing with the man via pencil notes scribbled all over the pages. I don't own Homer's Iliad, so sticky notes are doing the job nicely for my less-vehement commentary.

Then, when I finish and begin to formulate my judgment of the book, I have plenty of material from which to work.

But there's another reason I like The Well-Educated Mind. I like it because it reminds me that my learning journey never ends. There will always be more lists, more books to read, more big ideas to chew on and savor, and I have a lifetime to work through them, one #2 pencil at a time.

...because everyday adventures can be classical opportunities too...

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