Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Life of Study

You must study yourself, consider what your life is, what it enables you to do, what it furthers or excludes, what of itself it suggests for the hours of intense activity.

Will these be in the morning or in the evening, or partly in the morning and partly in the evening? You alone can decide, because you alone know your obligations and your character on which the mapping-out of your days depends.

When you have only a few free hours and can place them at will, morning seems to deserve the preference....

Whatever decision you have made, the chosen moments must be carefully secured, and you must take all personal precautions so as to use them to the fullest. You must see to it beforehand that nothing happens to crowd up, waste, shorten, or interfere with this precious time. You want it to be a time of plentitude; then shut remote preparation out of it; make all the necessary arrangements beforehand; know what you want to do and how you want to do it; gather your materials, your notes, your books; avoid having to interrupt your work for trifles.

Further, in order to keep this time for your work and to keep it really free, rise punctually and promptly; breakfast lightly; avoid futile conversations, useless calls, limit your correspondence to what is strictly necessary; gag the newspapers! These rules, which we have given as a general safeguard for the life of study, apply most of all to its intense hours.
(Sertillanges in The Intellectual Life)

13 comments:

Carol in Oregon said...

The Intellectual Life came in the mail yesterday - and I can only look at it on the shelf! But I'm enjoying my Autumn Challenge reading and your tantalizing quotes are wonderful.

I'll have to post a photo of all the recent book acquisitions. Life is too good!

Anonymous said...

LOL, I was going to send this to my sister Carol (in Oregon) but she obviously saw it before I did. You have a very nice blog and I appreciated this post.

Dan in San Francisco
lurker extraordinaire

patti said...

This book is in my Amazon cart.... At first I thought it might have been a quote from "Study is Hard Work" a book I recently finished.

Seasonal Soundings said...

Yes, I think you will find nuggets of gold in The Intellectual Life to share with me when you read. Admittedly, there are portions that just don't hold my attention. At least not right now.

And Dan, what a pleasure to have you reading SS. I'm your sister's East Coast twin. Or wannabe. Her thinking is like I hope mine to be someday!

Carol in Oregon said...

I. cannot. believe. it. **My** brother, who believes he cannot comment on my xanga blog commented here! Lucky you, Janie. (p.s. he is the best tenor in the world-sings with the SF opera).

Seasonal Soundings said...

Soooo *he's* the tenor I've heard wondrous things about!

Carol, when are you coming east?

Anonymous said...

uh, I'm not the world's greatest tenor and blogger is MUCH easier to post comments than stupid Xanga. pffffffft.

Dan in San Francisco
donning his flame-proof jammies

Seasonal Soundings said...

Hee, hee! I love this sibiling rivalry!

patti said...

Carol, I'm with Dan on this. I tried to post on your blog, but I changed my mind when I got to the sign up page. I did get The Intellectual Life ordered today. My kids wanted to order a couple of things, and I actually had to "save for later" several items so as not to tax the budget. I did order The Knowledge Deficit by Hirsch, Teacher in America by Barzun, The House of Intellect by Barzun.

Seasonal Soundings said...

Boy, we're a bunch of peas in a pod! I just received The Knowledge Deficit, and I have Barzun, Teacher in America. It's a really old copy and hard to read, so I need a newer one that's eye-friendly. I'll have to put his House of Intellect on my list. Tell me how it is, when you get too it, Patti.

I love talking books, but it costs me too much!

Carol in Oregon said...

Okay people, xanga is ycchhy. I'll admit it. I originally did it to comment on my son's blog when he went away to college and he no longer blogs (no time after looking in his fiance's eyes).

Switching over just seems a little overwhelming. Sigh. I'll think about it. If Dan and Patti will comment. Promise?

patti said...

I promise.:-)

Anonymous said...

Promise??? Me??? well, ok.

Dan in San Fran