Thursday, December 11

Neil Gaiman might well be right; John M. Ford's 110 Stories could be the best poem about the fall of the WTC.

A really fascinating NY Times article, about what you could loosely term fundamentalist Christian separatism. My first thought was that I know these people.

I meant to write a paper on the subject of homeschooling and its historical antecedents some time this semester; putting it off until the last minute (well, the last 10 hours) turned it into something else, and not something really worth reading. I did glean a few facts, though, about the evolution of public schools in America. It makes a strange sort of tale, if you pay attention, but the things that are wrong do start to make more sense when you read about their origins.

I also made an effort at starting to integrate fragments of my family's oral tradition, such as it is. Our age is not kind to the direct transmission of history by speech and song, but some of my people are natural storytellers anyway. In a much earlier time, my grandmother and father would have been the ones talking longest and best around the fire, and I would have been the small child who listened a little more than the rest, maybe a little too attentively - eventually they would have said to themselves that one, and one day when the others ran off with their pointed sticks to hunt marmots and gather acorns1 I would have been quietly pulled aside by the elders, and marked ever after that as the one whose role is to remember and tell you all about it if you ask, and sometimes even if you don't.

Anyway, all of those things - weird intense Christianity, education, and tale-telling - will probably make further appearances here if I ever get my act together.

1. I was going to say that, probably, my ancestors never practiced a hunter-gatherer kind of lifestyle where both oak trees and marmots would have provided sustenance, but I got to looking, and darned if they aren't both all over the Northern hemisphere.