Yes, Exactly

January 11, 2009 @ 9:40 pm | Filed under:

Film critic David Denby, writing of his experience revisiting, in his forties, the Great Books core courses he had taken as a freshman at Columbia University thirty years earlier:

I was reading seriously, reading Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, all the Greeks. But I needed more time. Life got in the way—a good life, but in the way. I had always known it would, but I was determined not to rope off my school adventure, not to become a hermit, anything medieval or cloistered, but to remain a modern middle-class man, living my life as normally as possible. As if I had any choice! There were days when I wanted to be free just to study, to eat at any hour and sleep whenever I wanted to, unshaven and raw as an eighteen-year-old—and then the little one, Thomas, would take my hand and lead me into his room to show me something he had drawn, pulling me away from Plato, and I was exasperated but grateful, because a child’s hand is like nothing else on earth.

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20 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Avatar

    Alice Gunther says:

    Wow, absolutely fabulous final quote.

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    Mrs. Happy Housewife says:

    If it were not for my children and my education through homeschooling them, I would never have been introduced to the Great Books.

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    steve says:

    you know what would make an interesting blog/podcast/book would be going through the old eliot five foot shelf with that approach

  4. Avatar

    steve says:

    never mind

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    Penny in VT says:

    LOL Hey Lissa , over on your twitter you wrote about a snuggly boy and then clarified yourself to mean a 5 year old boy. I didn’t think you might have meant baby, I thought you meant Scott!

  6. Avatar

    JoVE says:

    But of course most of the 18 year olds taking that Great Books course do not at all appreciate the luxury of studying Plato (or whatever) all day in their pyjamas. I bet he didn’t either. Which might be why he wants to revisit that course 🙂

    I’m like the Happy Housewife (though possibly only in this respect, since no one would ever call me that) in that homeschooling is what is bringing me to the classics. We are currently reading Dickens which I have never done before homeschooling.

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    Beth says:

    Saw the tweet — sending prayers, deep breaths, and full dilation thoughts your way!


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    Penny in VT says:

    HOORAY!!!! Everyone go check out Lissa’s Twitter!!!!


    oh, and CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  9. Avatar

    WendyinVA says:

    Saw the Twitter — what a big boy!!! Congratulations to all of you!! Can’t wait for pictures (hint, hint). :o)

  10. Avatar

    Beth says:

    Congratulations! I am so happy for you! What a blessing! (okay, will stop using exclamation marks now)

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  11. Avatar

    Anne V. says:

    Yahooooooo!!!! Congrats everyone! Can’t wait for pic’s….enjoy the babymoon…

  12. Avatar

    mamacrow says:

    Oh congrats congrats congrats! 9lb12 – wow!!! Yay, what wonderful wonderful news 🙂

    And you were totally right – tuesday – spooky!

  13. Avatar

    mamas_arms says:

    Best news all day! Brings tears to my eyes – what a blessing! Congratulations!

  14. Avatar

    Celeste says:

    Congrats to you and family, Lissa!

  15. Avatar

    Beth says:

    Just saw the photo on twitter … oh, those cheeks! Have you already kissed them a thousand times?? 🙂

  16. Avatar

    KimN says:

    Congratulations….you gave birth to a healthy two month old!!!! Enjoy this marvelous time!

  17. Avatar

    emily says:

    Congratulations on the new little boy! Enjoy the bliss of the next few days.

  18. Avatar

    Beth says:

    Congratulations! What wonderful news. Blessings to all of you, and welcome to that precious new little one.

  19. Avatar

    Elizabeth H. says:

    Congratulations! What a bouncing baby!

  20. Avatar

    Jeanne says:

    Thinking of you and yours, Lissa. Enjoy a “babymoon!”