Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Comfort Food

After such a stressful week (well, the stress is pretty much a normal condition, it seems), time for comfort food: books.

Don't books just make those cranky times easier and smooth out those rough spots? They do for me. Comfort food.

After bemoaning that I cannot seem to get through enough pages of the current book on my nightstand stack of many, it dawned on me that I do read more than those few pages at night. And I should just declare that fact right here!

Every morning I read from the ESV Literary Study Bible. You might be thinking why such a lofty-sounding name for a Bible?; besides any Bible will do. Ah, not so quick. For those who love words, for those who love English grammar, and for those who love the mix the Scripture with word construction, you would love this Bible. Yes, it is the same Bible as any other English translation, but the English Standard Version is my favorite above all. Coupled with the wonderful, wonderful notes of dear Leland Ryken and his son Phillip, this book enhances my morning time with the Scriptures greatly. I find myself reading the study notes and almost wishing that I could teach a Literary Survey of the Bible class just to use the notes! My current reading regime is a "trick" practiced by my good teacher-friend K. Read the Psalm for whatever the date is, add 30 and read that one, add 30 again for the next Psalm, etc., until you are through Psalms. You will read about five Psalms a day. For instance, today's reading is Psalm 14, 44, 74, 104, and 134. When you arrive at Psalm 119, you only read it, but in its entirety. I like this different approach right now.

Following my Scripture reading (unless I get too absorbed in the notes), I pick up the beautiful The Great Tradition and read a page or two slowly. With very limited time in the mornings, this is about all I can do before it is time for me to walk with Leslie.

After I get to school, I'm overrun with books and limited time. Juggling so many subjects, I often feel swept down a swift river almost out of control.

Starting out with my sixth graders, I read The Story of the World, Volume Two, (the Middle Ages) and King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table (Green). Arthur is going slowly and not one of my favorites. I do like the writing but not the story. Just not my cup of tea.

With the seventh graders I just finished Pilgrim's Progress in Today's English. Wonderful. A classic. After their maps of Christian's journey are turned in on Friday, we'll start Johnny Tremain next week to coordinate with our place in The Story of the World, Volume Three (Early Modern Times).

After lunch, the eighth graders and I are reading The Story of the World, Volume Four
(Late Modern Times). We are almost finished with Anne of Green Gables and must decide between The Jungle Book or Prince Caspian for our next book.

Later as I lay in bed struggling to keep the eyelids open, I manage to turn several pages of Racing Odysseus: A College President Becomes a Freshman Again. Light and interesting.

Then, it starts all over again.

When I consider the whole list, I'm moving right along. My personal reading list is really the only one I consider mine. Yet, reading is reading, right?

Pressing on...


magistramater said...

Oh, I wish I had time to respond to the lights that flicker with each new point you make.

But I do have time to tell you that I just ordered the Literary Study Bible. I want to read through it this year, but I will have some catching up to do. The leather-bound is available early March and I decided to go with that so my copy will last, Lord Willing, to the end of my life.

I am salivating as I've read snippets online and looked at the format. Oh, this looks excellent.

A few years ago, my friend Lisa took a class (free!) on Barnes and Noble University (online) on the Bible as Literature, taught by Ryken. He was online and answered questions. I haven't checked to see if such a class is available now.

I like the Psalm + 30 approach. When I was in High School I read through the Bible a five chapters a day starting in five different sections, one chapter each: Genesis, I Samuel, Psalms, Isaiah and Matthew, I think. It was helpful to see the integrity of the Bible.

I know how busy you are, and so appreciate you taking the time to blog. Your blog is my comfort food, Janie.


Kristine said...

My head spins at the thought of doing all those SOTW volumes at once!

And I have to admit, when you first wrote "comfort food," I was wondering if you'd share a great (cooking!) recipe...comment on Edible Vibe or some other place that I've yet to try...or...