Social Insects, Reading Out Loud, and Well-Trained Minds: Hanson's Week in Review for May 8 through May 15

Read Aloud Revival Podcast

On the Move — A Memoir by Oliver Sacks

  • Sacks wrote a book on migraines. The review at Faber & Faber told him that it was "too easy to read" and to "professionalize it" — to make it sound more like something readers expected doctors to sound like.
  • Sacks describes himself as "haunted by the density of reality." He discusses his love of the narrative form and historical approaches to understanding subjects.
  • Sacks displays an understanding of the uniqueness of each patient — of each human person. Every individual has a story that sets that person apart as a person.
  • Sacks relates a story told by William James about Agassiz. Agassiz would lock students up with a shell, no books allowed, and force the student to keep going back to the shell until the student had exhaustively described its reality. Exhaust the reality!
  • Sacks uses the phrase "the allegorical dimension of life." I like it.
  • Sacks talks about "sitting shiva" after his mother died, a practice I knew nothing about.
  • Sacks describes swimming for hours, thinking about things he wants to write, and running on shore to write on a yellow pad, so he doesn't lose the ideas.
  • Sacks takes W.H. Auden to the airport, when Auden is leaving the U.S. for the last time, returning to Europe. A stranger approaches Auden, compliments the poets, and thanks him for being in the country. Auden is cordial throughout. Sacks asks if that kind of thing happens often to Auden, and Auden says it does. But Auden is not bothered by it. "There is a genuine love in those casual encounters."
  • The poet Tom Gunn:
    • He did not review works he disliked. He wrote in "the mode of appreciation."
    • In an autobiographical essay about the earlier poets who had influenced him: "I do not apologize for being derivative."
  • Life is lived in "a swirl of anecdotes."
  • Jerome Bruner — Sacks mentions him in connections with Sacks' interest in sign language and the culture surrounding it; Bruner has a book about childrens' acquisition of language.

8 Ways to Become a Better Student

  • The post had this quote I liked:

    In effect, we are natural creators and generously enjoy it in all its forms; we take pleasure in creativity. It’s no different with time. If you want it, make it.

Honeybee Democracy by Thomas Seeley

  • Picked this up at the library. Fits in my science category of books to be reading. I like ants and bees.

The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

  • I've been doing a lot of reading in this. More to come later.

Productivityist Podcast

Homeschool Snapshots

Art of Manliness Podcast

  • Episode 199 — Garage Gym Athlete
    • This episode is about the pros and cons of turning your garage into a gym & how one might go about doing that.
    • The episode is an interview of Jerred Moon, who has a site.
    • The discussion between Jerred Moon and Brett McKay (host of the AoM podcast) made me think that my previous efforts to adhere to an exercise routine were here hampered by a lack of programming — i.e., thinking in advance about the stages of progression & challenge.
      • There's an analogy latent there from my reading of the Susan Wise Bauer book: the importance of programming (or planning) in both strength training and homeschooling (or academic instruction generally).

Alice in Wonderland

  • Motivated by the Sarah Mackenzie stuff I've been hearing, I downloaded Alice in Wonderland (the Naxos edition) on Overdrive, the app that lets us get free audiobooks through the Phoenix Public Library.
  • The three older girls and I listened to the first three chapters (Alice was about to interact with the opium-smoking caterpillar).
    • Sarah Mackenzie pointed out in one of the podcasts I listened to that listening to books with kids in a household is not necessarily a tranquil, idyllic experience. Amen. But still a good experience.

Whole 30 Cookbook

  • The book is actually called The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom, but I think of it as the Whole 30 Cookbook.
  • I'm mentally distinguishing from a related book, It Starts with Food, which is more foundational, less cookbooky.
    • Alishia and I did a Whole 30 in August/September 2014.
    • I'm tempted to do another, but I was looking at the Cookbook just because I wanted to make some mayonnaise. (Which is easy to do, and it tastes really good.)