A: This is a most difficult question. I was born into a horse and buggy Mennonite community where reading, writing, and arithmetic were taught in elementary school along with basic geography and world history and a bit of science and art. At age fourteen, the end of Grade 8, I was taken out of school and taught to keep house and garden and help with the dairy herd and chickens. Work started at six o’clock in the morning and ended at eight or nine o’clock at night. Ten in some cases. Processing food for large families for the coming year was top priority, as well as making payments on the farm. Reading and writing beyond what was needed for business and Bible reading were considered the height of laziness.
But my brain needed intellectual stimulation, far more than was available in this kind of life decade following decade. In the half-hour or so between finishing work at night and bedtime, there was precious little time for reading of any type. Borrowing books from the public library was out of the question because at that rate it took me six months to read a single volume. Besides, I had no way to get to the library. By the time I enrolled in university at age forty, I was so starved for study and research that books were my break, study was my play.
Years after graduating with two university degrees, my feelings have not changed on that. Most times, I study (research stuff) for play. I continue to study and research at my leisure for pleasure, mostly on the internet but also books. My play…what do I do for play? Well, actually, more study in some form or another.
This blog is part of that work/play dynamic. And it reflects my “dual citizenship” type of cultural mindset. Those two photo images in the sidebar, taken from the internet, are equally cherished symbols of my life.
I welcome thoughtful comments, ideas with substance supported with evidence. Assertions meant to refute my arguments without factual support are liable not to make it past the moderator’s screening. The goal of this blog is to produce quality information, thoughtful discussion, and constructive conversation.