[lit-ideas] Re: Proof that the world improves, possibly

  • From: david ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 17:53:59 -0700

On Sep 22, 2005, at 9:08 PM, Mike Geary wrote:

It's a mosque alarm clock. The alarm is the call to prayer (or azan to you cognoscenti).

Brill. I can't think why you would want to get rid of it. And such a lovely color!

Maybe we should form some kind of business that combines refrigeration and alarm clocks, something that wakes people because it's too bloomin' cold to sleep further? We could call it San Francisco with the Window Open, or something.

Proof that the world improves, hah!

Emily tackled her first I.B. history assignment last weekend. She asked for my help. The task was to explain one of the possible causes of the American Revolution. She chose to write about "The Great Awakening." This is not something I know much about and so I read her text book on the subject. At the close of that reading I felt I knew very little more, so I pulled off a shelf Perry Miller, "Errand into the Wilderness," showed her the stuff that I thought might enlighten her and invited her to read.

Her essay referred to primary documents, to the text book and to this scholarly work. Though it was limited in its understanding of differences between the past and the present, it was rhetorically complex and I would have been quite happy to see it turned in by a freshman.

Today she came home with the news that she has to re-write the essay.
"What was wrong with it?" I asked.
"You're not allowed to use outside sources. The teacher says they complicate things. And you have to underline your thesis and the thesis of each paragraph and mark with red pen..."

Monday is back-to-school night. Would I be arrested, do you think, if I took a sword?

David Ritchie
Portland, Oregon

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