Well, it has been six years since I posted anything and I can't believe my account hasn't been deleted. A lot has happened in those past six years: divorce, marriage, career change, house sold, house bought, kids had... not all exactly in that order or relative in time. Most importantly to this forum I've read a lot of books. Since no one really cares I'll continue to write about it here, where no one really cares :∆)
Now I'm an English teacher and this career suits me well enough. I have patience for kids and I enjoy literature, though my knowledge of grammar and punctuation leave a lot to be desired, as evident by my previous posts. Luckily this masturbatory exercise in self absorption is just for me.
Teaching gives me a look at myself from years on. It allows me to ponder my ignorance, naivete, arrogance and insecurities of this time period. I just don't see them reflected in one student, but in almost every one of them. Books at that point hadn't caught a foothold in my life. I hope I can spark an interest in a few of my students. At the very least I get to read and discuss a few stories and books.
The most significant one we've read is "Fahrenheit 451." Of course it is by Ray Bradbury, one of my favorites. It is very timely and has been for over 60 years. Our culture is both growing and decaying, at the same time, at tremendous rates. The mechanisms of growth and decay are usually one in the same and unfortunately we haven't learned that we should be looking to identify the tipping points. This book is about just that, a culture who didn't bother to acknowledge a tipping point. As the Buddha lays out in the idea of the middle way, we learn that too much of a good thing is always a bad thing. Bradbury delves into the future with eerie precision when discussing how we would become increasingly addicted to making everyone in society feel good and how we obsess over the convenience of technology. It has started interesting discussions in class and I believe the book has fostered some thought in my students' heads. I will hold off on a full analysis, but will say it is entertaining and thought provoking.