Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Estivation, and a reply to the Blue Skunk

Ahhhhh, summer.... What was that? Did I hear someone speak of work? St. Dunstan feels a bit like Johnny Bunko here, not sure where his brain went. But Dunstan can be a bookish fellow -- remember his story -- and needs what Phillip Pullman prescribes for us all: "books, time and silence." While some thrive on activity and are the ones who Get Things Done, others need to take in the quiet and take a look at the world around.

Dunstan's scribe thanks the good Doug Johnson of the Blue Skunk Blog for his continuing support and encouragement and for the stimulus to think about summer learning. (He tossed a meme in this direction, and out to other parts of the globe, and it's only fair to hold it, roll it around in the hands, and think of what to do with it. If your meme is a round rubber ball, mine's more like a gradefruit, irregular, lumpy in spots, yielding to pressure but in all a delightful glowing pale yellow.

And if Doug is energetic, why look at Michael Guhlin, with his lists -- my lists are various and lie about on scraps of paper.

I have to say that my focus is dual this summer. To think about the school year gone and the one coming up, to envision the new library (it's begun to appear in dreams in interesting ways) but just as important to nourish those parts of my life which are not given enough time during the school year.

The picture above and the bookpile below suggest the plan. (I hear Jonny saying, "There is no plan!)

Here's an anecdote: during the last days of school a colleague asked at lunch, "What's on your summer reading program, Jane?" I was gobsmacked. I thought of one of the lines on the reading poster in my office: "Read at whim, read at whim!" But as usual when confronted by the cool light of a left-brained person person I couldn't think of a ready repartee and no doubt said something lame like, "Uh, ah,, I don't really have A Plan, but there are a lot of books in the pile." It's much more fun to read at whim. So far I've read Johnny Bunko and two very long mysteries, Thornton Burgess's Billy Mink (retrieved from the past via Powells), Ben Hamper's Rivethead, and some others. Pink's A Whole New Mind will make the short non-fiction list, since I want to read it anyway, AND we were all given it by the new academic dean. Maybe the winds will be blowing from a new direction -- it'll be interesting,.

Otherwise, some of the work energy has gone into weeding and packing up all the books, between a two week trip to Portland, Oregon to see my son and a long weekend in Pennsylvania for a Bar Mitzvah. So there hasn't been a lot of time at home, and now -- at Midsummer -- it's time to stake stock of time.

What do I want to learn this summer? How to manage my iPod (which was a gift in September, and then went missing till May) and my cell phone; to manage stuff: pictures, books., papers. To pursue family history. To keep up my personal blog (http://frombullockscove.blogspot.com/) and get this one kicking again and to think about the virtual library and the look and feel and practices of the school library in 2008 with a new design.

1 comment:

doug0077 said...

Hi Jane,

I am jealous of the lyricism in your writing. You not only say things worth saying, but you say it in a way that they are a pleasure to read.

Good luck with your summer reading project. I read constantly, but am too often lured away by "junk food" reading, justifying that it is summer and summer should be for relaxing! You are a inspiration.

All the best and nice to see the blog entry.

Have a wonderful summer,