A Dollop of Sour Cream

I'm not much into spicy food. I have recently discovered that if a meal is just a tad too spicy for me, I can put sour cream on top and make it not just palatable, but wonderful. This blog is devoted to doing the same for life.



Reading versus studying a book.

I am taking an Inductive Bible Study class this quarter at school. (Yes, going to school AND working AND Selling a house all at the same time. Quite a bit going on over here) For this class, the teacher was unable to find any single book he liked that is still available, so he's printing off copies of different pages.

Two things have jumped out so far.
First, a quote (because I love the ways it makes me think):
A conversation between a professor and his students.
"What does the word 'train' mean?"
"'A series of railroad cars in sequence.'"
"I see. Then I can understand the society note, 'The bride came down the aisle followed by her series of railroad cars in sequence'!"
"Oh, no! That would be a long veil."
"Oh, so 'train' means 'long veil'! I noticed that Mayor Lindsay was walking along the streets of Harlem the other day with a large number of reporters in his long veil!"
"No, no! There the word means 'followers in a company.'"
"Oh, all right. 'Train' means 'followers in a company.' Last week, the soccer coach told the team that they were expected to follow in a company in order to be ready and in shape for the next season."
"No, no! There the word is a verb and it means 'to bring into desired physical shape by means of diet and exercise.'"
"Then you really don't know what the word 'train' means?"
"Not until you use it in a sentence!"

(Of course, then they point out the use of 'train' in Isaiah 6:1 and so now I'm trying to figure out what THAT means... I never noticed that before. Always I just assumed I understood the verse when zooming over it.)

2. Talking about zooming over it. They pointed out how many people read, but don't understand what they are reading. You read a book, but are finished, and can barely tell what it is about. (I remember that this weekend, trying to excitedly tell a friend about the Patricia C0rnwall mystery I JUST FINISHED- - well, it's a mystery, about Kay Scarpetta... who is a forensic detective coroner sort of... and I sort of trailed off.) As the book says, we read pages, but don't actually think about what the author is saying. "Learn to react to each statement; talk back if necessary." They point out that this is reinforced by school assignments "read pages 26-45 for the next class session" (OUR teacher gets over this by having us read sections, and write down five things from each section that particularly struck us.) The important thing about reading is not just checking off a book read, but to really get what the author is telling us in the book. I wonder if Ambleside's (Charlotte Mason's) "talking back" -- I think it's called "narrative"? -- about what was just read fills the same position. Making sure children are absorbing what is being read.


Blogger Headmistress, zookeeper said...

It's called 'narration,' and that's exactly what it's all about.

I think we've grown intellectually lazy. People think CM's books are hard to read, but it's not really that they are hard- it's that they are densely packed with information. We are used to soundbites, one per chapter, lots of fluff surrounding it.

10:43 AM  

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