Midweek @ Musings: Back after a Bumpy Ride

I’m so glad August is over.  It’s been a busy month, and life sort of caught up with me.  For the past two weeks I’ve pretty much ignored my blog.  Oh sure, I posted book reviews.  But my other posts were obligatory filler, like this “here’s what I’ve been reading” post, and a wedding anniversary celebration. I didn’t want to go completely quiet, but I just couldn’t muster my creative energies.  We were preparing to take daughter #1 to university, and I may have underestimated the stress that would bring. 🙂  And then there was Hurricane Irene, when I missed another Sunday Salon because I was too busy doing laundry before the power went out.

But now the month is behind me, and I’ve been seized with”back to school” spirit, which always boosts my energy. I’m really excited for daughter #1, who is beginning her university experience with the most amazing English class:

Recent political debates about marriage rights have highlighted public disagreement about function of marriage in society. Is marriage a sacrament, or a civil right, or a civic responsibility? Is it fundamentally about procreation? Or is it the highest form of human friendship? In this course, we will read poems, stories, novels, plays and nonfiction of all kinds in pursuit of the answer to a simple question: what is marriage for? How has the institution been shaped by law and culture over the centuries, and how has it shaped human lives in turn? Most importantly for us, how has it left its mark on the genres of English literature? Through literary readings spanning seven centuries, we will consider the institution’s medieval inheritance (in our ideal of monogamous, lifelong marriage; and in “coverture,” the legal doctrine of women’s subordination to their husbands). We will also take up the sometimes vexed role of love within marriage; debates about marriage and citizenship in 19th century America and today; and finally, the role of marriage in today’s consumer society. Readings by Plato, Chaucer, Spencer, Shakespeare, Milton, Bradstreet, Austen, and many others.

Wow!  If she weren’t 8 hours away I know I’d sneak in there from time to time!

Daughter #2 had a pile of summer reading, culminating in Steinbeck’s East of Eden.  At first she was put off by its length, but then began disappearing to read for long periods of time.  Ultimately, she really enjoyed the book and found it hard to leave the story and characters behind.  Her enthusiasm inspired me to pull a couple of short Steinbeck works off my shelves to read early in September. I wanted to take part in The Classics Circuit John Steinbeck Tour, but I knew better than to commit to something like that so close to daughter #1’s departure.  However, reading Steinbeck now makes me feel good, because I’ll be clearing dusty books from my stacks.  And several people recommended him in response to my “Where Have all the Men Gone?” post a few weeks ago.  And who am I to ignore all you smart people?

So look for my reviews of Tortilla Flat and The Pearl, coming soon.  And I hope to replenish my creative energy and bring you some other interesting stuff, too.


8 thoughts on “Midweek @ Musings: Back after a Bumpy Ride

  1. Wow – that sounds fascinating! I’m interested in all things marriage at the moment for obvious reasons (!).

    I love the back to school feeling – it doesn’t seem to have hit me quite yet, but I’m hoping it will

  2. That course sounds very interesting. I’ll be interested to hear what daughter #1 makes of it. But oh how I can relate to the summer speeding by and things half done or not done at all. It was just one of those summers. But I haven’t felt anything lacking at all in your posts,.

    This is the first autumn that I haven’t felt that surge of back-to-schoolness. Usually I want to wear plaid and buy coloured pencils. I used to love the energy of the new students pouring into the uni, looking forward to getting to know the daughters #1. I must well and truly have made the transition into retirement. Now I just quietly walk the dog and note the leaves beginning to change.

  3. That course sounds like one my daughter would have conjured up when she was teaching freshmen. I always wanted to sit in on those classes. I certainly hope we get some reports on it—maybe a guest post by Daughter #1 ?

  4. I’ve been putting minimal effort into my blog for the past few weeks too. Hopefully I’ll have much more time for it now. Your daughter’s course sounds interesting. I really hope that she enjoys it. Let’s hope Septemebr is much less stresfull for us both. 🙂

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