Monday, November 5, 2012

My Re-Education

Looking back at my educational experience, I sometimes wonder, "What did I do during all those years that I was in school?" Really, how did I receive a high school diploma without having ever read one scrap of authors like Dickens, Thoreau, Twain, or Hemingway? On top of that, my lack of historical knowledge is simply astounding. Historically I'm in even worse shape than I am in literature. I'm genuinely embarrassed about how little I know about past events.

Well, not being one to sit on my duff in the face of such dire circumstances, I've decided to embark on my own re-education. I'm going back and reading any great, classic, or important works of literature that I've missed, and I'm re-reading the few that I was fortunate enough to be exposed to in high school. I have a couple lists here and here that I'm using as a loose starting point for the building my literary knowledge. Many I will read, some I won't. Some I already have. Some I will re-read. (By the way, these lists come from a high school student I know. She's one intelligent and admirable young lady! I will be a happy mother indeed if Vivian has similar attributes to her when she's grown. This student has an amazing mom who I suspect has something to do with her daughter's excellent character . . . ) I may write out my own official list eventually, but for now I'm taking a more relaxed approach and just reading whatever I come across that fits into my idea of educating myself in important works of literature.

So, what about you? What are some of your favorite classics or even modern "must-reads" that I should add to my informal list? What is the one book (ok, or a few books if you're like me and too much of a book-lover to narrow it down to one) I absolutely must read? I'm also especially interested in books about historical events. Any recommendations there?

Update 11/10/12: Ok, so I made a list. I can't help it; I love lists! Link here or you can click on the "Re-Education Reading List" tab.


Sharon Telschow said...

That is awesome! Working in schools I am astounded at all the information we learned (and subsequently forgot) in school. Students are constantly blowing my mind with everything they are so very capable of learning. You can do the same. They are just immersed in a learning environment and I am certain you will create the same in your home. You already have. Definitely read Call the Midwife. Laura Ingles Wilder is great. The Secret Garden. I Married Adventure by Osa Johnson --- soo good.

Maggard said...

Reason #10,456 why both of you are my best friends! I feel the same way as you Giz. Jeez Lousie sometimes I feel like an idiot when I don't know fairly basic history. And the only classic i read in high school was The Scarlet Letter! You pretty much know my must-read list but for the record it includes: Unbroken (story of a WWII pilot shot down over the Pacific), In Harm's Way (heartbreaking story of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis), Horse Soldiers by the same author (story of US military fighting the beginning of the war in Afghanistan from horse back), of course Folks This Ain't Normal by Joel Salatin, and as for a classic...Caddie Woodlawn!

Amy Lopp said...

I'm reading Gone with the Wind, which I always assumed was a romance novel. Not so much. It has opened my eyes to American history and now I want to know so much more! (I've never seen the movie either)