May 29, 2003

Learning to Become Who You Are

Ah. Here it is. I found it--a big book, American Journey. And that reminds me of a moment two weeks ago...

"I think I've lost it." The Thirteen-Year-Old was standing before one of the middle school librarians. Three weeks before he had borrowed one of the library's copies of the next year's history book, American Journey. He had loved it, and had blazed through it in three days. But then the book had gone missing someplace in the house. So we were reporting this--expensive--lost book at the middle school library.

The librarians were very kind. They said they were certain the book would turn up. They restored his borrowing privileges. "We know you are telling the truth," one of them said, "It's a textbook. It's not a book you would ever want to keep."

I could see a wave of dismay pass over the Thirteen-Year-Old's face. For, of course, it is a book he wants to keep--very much. Then I saw his jaw set and his shoulders square as he told himself, "Yes. I am the kind of person who reads history textbooks for fun. This is who I am. And that is fine." Now he?s going to have to hold onto these ideas thoughout his teenage years. That?s going to be hard.

But if I can look a little further into the future, because he?s the kind of guy who reads history textbooks for fun, he will have a very bright future indeed.

Posted by DeLong at May 29, 2003 10:58 AM | TrackBack


Hear hear! In my Latin lessons, I recall enjoying reading about Roman history the most, not the different tenses of words (porto, portas, portat, portamas, portatis, portant). When I took GCSE History, I read the entire textbook, not just the sections covered in the course.

History textbooks are great. I only wish I knew more about history.

Posted by: Adrian on June 2, 2003 05:11 PM
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