Thursday, August 17, 2006

JOURNAL: August 17, 2006

Yesterday, around 7:00 p.m., I spent about thirty minutes in the park enjoying a perfectly splendid evening. A pleasant breeze was swirling around me, the late sunlight was lighting up the trees and shrubs in soft ways, and a few people were walking here and there, obviously finding some pleasure in the beautiful park. I just sat under a spreading tree, taking it all in and feeling very grateful. I also read part of a chapter from Dombey and Son, going even more slowly than usual and enjoying Dickens writing even more than I normally do. I savored the words. I stopped whenever I wished and read a passage over again, which got me thinking that perhaps I should ask my students to do that. Instead of worrying about rushing to get through the reading assignment, perhaps I should encourage them to truly appreciate at least part of the assigned pages rather than dashing through the pages to complete the assignment. After all, they can always go to Sparknotes to find out what happened – and is that really so terrible? (If you visited a beautiful island and fell in love with a small part of it, would it be wrong to ask a resident for a quick description of the rest of the island??)

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