Author Topic: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn  (Read 11421 times)

BooksAdmin

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Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« on: August 02, 2015, 01:10:25 PM »


Regardless if you've posted with us for 20 years or joined us 2 months ago, help us capture our golden "Wild Days" as we celebrate the memories of our best and memorable experiences discussing books together on SeniorLearn. Yes, "life is Good."

We have a "Plan" for celebrating our memories - "The Plan" helps us focus but more, "The Plan" is designed to assure that we give texture to our many memories regardless of books read and discussed last month, last year, or going on 20 years ago.

"The Plan" - Every two days, new topics will be introduced - If a forgotten memory creeps in days later feel free to post adding more depth to the focus questions we had featured earlier in our Legacy discussion.


Questions to help us Focus our Memories


THREE Days for these Questions
Wed. Thur. Fri. OK we need some lists – Remember High School when we made lists of our favorite things from colors to cookies to movie stars  - Well we need Lists - Lists in units of 10 would be great.

 
Aug. 19~20~21   – 10 of your favorite Books
  – 10 of your favorite Books read and discussed on SeniorNet/Learn
  – 10 of your favorite Authors
  – 10 of your favorite Characters

 
Aug. 19~20~21   – 10 of your favorite movies that were books
  – 10 of your favorite phrases from the books we have read
  – 10 new bits of information you learned from our in-depth book discussions.
  – 10 of your favorite or most remembered discussions here on SeniorLearn.



If you have just joined us or as a reminder, here are the questions from the past few days.

  • Monday & Tuesday: While reading with us which discussions provided a profound moment for you? Was it because of new information or an aha way of looking at things or noticing for the first time the beauty of the words or reading how others saw the story similar or very different from how you saw it?
  • Do you remember the first book that you joined SeniorLearn? Were you nervous or so filled with thoughts you just had to share – Tell us what you remember?
  • Which discussion provided you with the more memorable feeling of a shared community? Tell us about it.

  • Wednesday & Thursday: Which book do you remember not being able to contain yourself and sitting down reading the entire book in one swoop and then tried to post as if you did not know what happens next.
  • Of the books you've read, which would you have liked to magically enter and as what character – would you have changed any part of the story? How would your change have affected the outcome?
  • What kind of devise do you use when you post – do you eat or drink while posting, what do you enjoy? If you post on a full size computer, in what room is it located or, if a handheld device do you post from home or on the road? Tell us how you 'pull up your chair' - Are you still in your jammies or do you post after chores are done? Do you read during the day, before bed or in bed?

  • Saturday & Sunday   Which of the stories we have read reminded you of events from your life? What in your mind was the wildest, off beat story that we discussed?
  • Of the many authors who posted while we read one of their books, did any one author stand out for you and if so tell us how and why?
  • Do you usually buy or borrow - Buyers, after the discussion do you hang on to the book, give it away or even sell it? Borrowers, when you return it, do you tell those in the library about any of the tidbits we shared during our discussion?


Need a memory nudge? Here are links to our Archived Discussions. SeniorNet books are listed alphabetically and NOT by the discussion date. SeniorLearn discussions are listed by date. 



Discussion Leader: Barb

BarbStAubrey

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Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2015, 04:18:52 PM »
Our "Wild Days" - all the unscheduled times we read and post on SeniorLearn and the times we binge read. It's all the time we do not schedule as an appointment or even in our daily 'to do' list that when we wake up each day we know this or that must be done. Our "Wild Days" are our wheee time or me time! And this discussion is where we honor our time spent reading and talking about books.

To honor ourselves and Senior Learn as well as those years we were part of SeniorNet we just need to have a legacy, a memoir, if nothing else, an explanation of why we were drawn to and continued to read with this group of readers, sharing with them our understanding of an author, a story, a literary happening here on this site.

We are also honoring the site that has been unique among the many online book discussions. Other book groups have attracted authors however, we in addition had come together on many occasions and we have a history of good works that helped others further their life of reading. We need to hear the particulars, what was done to pull these events together and who and what keeps this site available so that those of us who spend our free time reading and discussing the stories we read could enjoy our  "Wild Days". 

We want to hear about each other's experiences and as a recent TED talk explained, we accomplish something by hitting the nail head were as with total freedom choosing between hundreds of nail heads we spend too much time waffling and second guessing our choice. With that thinking we are setting up the nail heads - a few nail heads for every two days of posting.

In the heading there are three (nail head) discussion questions for Monday August 10 and Tuesday August 11 - they will be followed by questions for Wednesday and Thursday August 12 and 13. Additional focus questions, with dates will be posted as we move through the two weeks so that we will have questions for the 14 days of the discussion. There will be time after the two weeks for anyone to share their memories that may not have been prompted by the focus questions.

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. – Neil Gaiman

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. – Vera Nazarian

You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. – Paul Sweeney

And with that we want to be sure we do not loose the memories of our friends here on SeniorLearn. This discussion is not planned as a last page however, over the years we have many who turned their last page and they too spent their "Wild Days" with us so that the memory of their participation will be woven into our posts.

With quotes from the irascible Toad - Welcome - "Oh, what dust clouds we shall make! What carts we shall fling into the ditch! -  My friends we have come home to SeniorLearn with the smashing of the windows and crashing of the doors of our memory.

"Poop, Poop! Oh, poetry of motion! Ohh, the bliss! Ohhh... poop, poop!" Sound your horns, fire the cannons, shout "Hooray", for it's our grrrrreat "Wild Days"!   

maryz

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2015, 06:51:49 PM »
mark
"When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it.  You just learn how to go on without them. But always keep them safely tucked in your heart."

PatH

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2015, 06:57:18 PM »
Wow, I''m not usually the first poster anywhere.  This is a great idea for a discussion, Barb.  I don't know if I'm mind-reading correctly, but I'm guessing that what you're up to is getting us all to think and talk about what reaading means to us, what experiences it's given us, and how it fits into our lives, with the framework of our shared experience here to give it structure.

But it's just as relevant to those of you who have recently joined us.  If you haven't had an "aha" moment here, you've had one somewhere else.  And you'll see the history of what we're about, and what you're getting into here.

I'm going to enjoy comparing notes with everyone.

PatH

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2015, 07:21:30 PM »
Those aren't easy questions, though.  The first "aha"moment that comes to mind occured when we were reading Richard III.  I hadn't read it before, but had seen the 1955 movie with Sir Laurence Olivier, and hadn't been that impressed with the play.  But when we read it together, and reached the turning point scene, where Richard is crowned, it struck me.  He's gotten what he wanted, and now you see him unraveling before your eyes.  He israpidly descending into paranoia and madness, and the rest is like watching a man rolling down a steep hill that ends in a cliff.

It's brilliant and horrifying, and I never saw it until we read it together.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2015, 07:38:04 PM »
Yes, it will be nice to look back at who we were 20 years into this reading and discussing endeavor and how over the years we welcomed new folks and lost some who have either passed or never made it over when we changed from SeniorNet.

Aha PatH, you were posting as I was writing - Richard III - Now of course I need to refresh and look it up to see what was said, and who was posting in that discussion and how the discussion evolved etc. it will be like reliving all over those wonderful books and how we talked about them.

It took me some researching the archive to find my first first discussion - I do remember being so hesitant that I monitored the discussions for several months - that first bunch of readers were so top notch I was in awe and felt like a neophyte to even think I could add my two cents.

There was LJ Klein who I believe was a Physician from Kentucky and Joan Pearson and our Ella and Ann Alden and of course our Ginny who started this whole thing - several others but the one poster who I really admired was Roslyn Stempel - Oh my - I emailed her telling her of my admiration and asked her about some symbolism in Sir Gawain... - she did not suffer fools lightly - but what a mind and her ability to see the connections was beyond anything I had ever experienced.

I finally 'gutsed' it up and posted in Sir Gawain... after following both Dickens, Hard Times and prior to that the Hardy, Jude the Obscure - of course the welcome was a posted big red Welcome that took care of some of my nervousness over posting with such an illustrious group of readers.

The other difference I remember was back then we would go several months reading one book - later when we switched so abruptly from SeniorNet to Senior Learn, thanks to Ginny and JoanP and a few others for saving us - some of the archived discussions were lost - The first book ever discussed Snow Falling on Ceder was lost as well as the Odyssey both led by Ginny. These two discussions were followed by the Hardy, which again went for several months, then Hard Times and then Sir Gawain and the Green Giant and then... we absolutely slogged through Magic Mountain - whew that one nearly got the best of us but we did it.

Those first reading experiences are in my jewel chest of memories along with a year later we did, with JoanP leading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man oh yes, and we had great rollicking fun with Mapp and Lucia  - I just have to stop there were so many discussions that I fondly remember.   


ginny

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2015, 09:59:03 AM »
Oh I remember Richard III, and also  Mapp and Lucia, how different those two are and yet such depth if you want to plumb them.

I'd like to answer question #1 before it's gone.

The discussion which provided me an eureka moment in our long history was The Iliad, I guess,  because I had never really read it before. The power of the thing just left me stunned.  To this day I still remember almost all of the discussion and think of it quite a bit.  And the two scholars we had in the discussion, Dr. Stanley Lombardo whose translation I used, and Dr. Mark Stone whose class on it at Furman were simply  amazing.  I learned so much from that discussion and it's never left me. That one was really "one for the Books," to me it may never be equaled.

I guess for a "normal" book discussion I would have to say the three that stand out for me were Bridedhead Revisited, where we did the film and the book, Remains of the Day--what a stunning book of great depth where we also did the film as well as the book and, strangely enough, The Ancient Mariner.

In that last one for some strange reason we all took different "parts" as shipmates on the virtual voyage. I remember distinctly Jonathan was in the Crow's Nest or was he just sent there so much  because he kept saying the most outrageous things?  hahahaa  It became a fine joke, to send him (usually) and anybody else to the Crow's Nest if they had contrary opinions (all in fun) and it was hilarious, I seem to recall. Lots of fun.

We've had some great times and great discussions, and  I don't think they are over yet. It's fun to look back, though. We are one of the few online sites which meet in person, but that's another day, I bet. :)


mabel1015j

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2015, 12:48:18 PM »
I found Seniornet because i was looking for something for a lesson plan for my Western Civ course and Google gave me the Durant discussion on their History of WC books! I couldn't believe that a group was intent on reading all 11 (?) volumes. Of course, there was so much great discussion that we never got past the Reformation. 😊 It was great fun while it lasted, however. Because of the world-wide participants there were many perspectives and many stories about historical places that participants had visited. With the help of the WWW we "visited" most of the places/people we were discussing.

From there, I,  of course, became a part of the many other discussions and followed you all to SeniorLearn. I've loved every minute of it. Thank you to anyone who has any responsibility for keeping SL operating. The discussions are mentally stimulating, often informative, sometimes humorous - all good things!

Jean

Jonathan

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2015, 02:24:58 PM »
There you are, Ginny. Perhaps you can put my mind to rest on a curious little challenge put to it in a recent post of yours. Regarding the feeding of chickens. How is it done? In return, I can tell you of a neat little farming experience that I got as a teenager and have never forgotten. How to wean a calf. Have a pail of milk handy. As well as a hungry calf, of course. Dip a middle finger into the milk and then present it to the calf as a tempting t(r)eat. Once he's sucking on it, draw his head slowly into the bucket until the finger is submerged. It works on the first try. Next.

What a liberating adventure it was for me to join in the discussions. Here was an opportunity I had never experienced...to express my thoughts and opinions at whatever length my small store of knowledge allowed. It ended the frustration and experience of exclusion reaching back to my childhood, when, as the youngest at the large, talkative dinner table conversations I seldom got the chance to get a word in. I soon developed a style that made the most of every small pause in the talk.

What a thrill to find an empty, inviting reply box after the latest post.

Barb, I spent an hour in the archives last night, enjoying your discussion of The Magic Mountain, in 1999. I'm sorry I missed it then. When Ginny came along with her offer of a sea voyage I scrambled aboard. Played the stowaway at first and then found the best seat in the house. The Crow's Nest.

Ella Gibbons

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2015, 05:52:53 PM »
It was approximately 17-18 years ago when I first discovered Seniornet  I had just gotten a computer and was learning and in those days we had a number of  search engines.  I used one to search for "senior sites" and found book discussions, online!  As Barbara stated, I was in awe of it, afraid to post any ideas, and it took some courage then and I have never left the site since. 

I think my earliest memory was of the popular nonfiction CIVIL ACTION.  And I have never forgotten David McCullough's wonderful book JOHN ADAMS - that went on for about six weeks or so in 2001.  In the book GOOD LIFE by Ben Bradlee we got an inside look at Watergate from the publisher's point of view and we almost got Ben online, we were so excited at the prospect, but he got discouraged with learning how to post on the computer.  Neil Simon's had this to say in his book REWRITES:

""The way I see things, life is both sad and funny. I can’t imagine a comical situation that isn’t at the same time also painful. I used to ask myself: What is a humorous situation? Now I ask: What is a sad situation and how can I tell it humorously?"

And SEABISCUIT in 2002.  Wonderful book, good movie.  As one can tell I like nonfiction and have so enjoyed sharing the adventure with others that also love it. 

Great joy to have spent these years with Seniornet and SeniorLearners.

JoanK

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2015, 09:33:24 PM »
I'll certainly never forget joining Seniornet. I had retired, and was looking for book groups on the internet. When I saw "the Story of Civilization", I thought, Wow. I must have been nervous, because I remember saying "I see you started the Rome discussion a month ago: am I too late to join?" (just this year, about 12 years later, we finally ended it).

My second post was something like : that opinion that the author expressed was interesting. Do you think he's right? Another poster (who has since left) checked me. Why was I questioning this famous historian? Who did I think I was?!

I remember telling my sister "Boy, I'm never going back there!!". Luckily, I did look in the next day, and saw a zillion posts defending and praising me for being a critical reader, and encouraging me. This was my introduction to the lively, discussions we have here, and the supportive atmosphere that remains in spite of the wide variety of people and points of view. I later became good friends with the person who had criticized me.   

Steph

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2015, 08:51:30 AM »
mm, as to the first two questions, I always read a book all the way through and then if I join the discussion, I will limit or try to limit my discussion to the part being discussed. I truly would hate limiting my reading to each small part.. Not going to happen. I have joined a few of the book discussions, but mostly like the other parts of senior learn or senior net for that matter.
I read for pleasure now and so critical discussions sometimes drive me nuts, so I stay out of them or stay silent. 
I really hate windows 10 or our site somedays, since I was typing away and I went from normal print to teeny tiny squibbles. Nuts.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

ginny

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2015, 09:12:45 AM »
:) Jonathan. Feeding the chickens. It's kind of like the old illustrations you see of the woman in an apron (usually in a dress....not me) throwing corn to the hustling flock. Except our chickens always have the "right" kind of  food in a gravity feeder but "we" somehow have gotten in the habit of  anticipating with great eagerness the "treats" which they get in the evening.

At night they get vegetables, too, always broccoli stems shaved, they love broccoli, other greens,  sometimes grapes which produce an hilarious chase after the grapes, fruit, vegetables, depending on what scraps are available, and cracked corn called scratch feed.  The grapes roll,  so it's every chicken for herself as they take off in a mad dash. You can throw 20 grapes, they all run after one.

They remind me of people quite a lot.  It's like dessert, they love corn, but it's like feeding children candy. They need to eat their good food instead.

Regardless of the time change they line up at the gate waiting. Every night.   When the first one sees you coming she sounds the alarm and they all come running but at about 6 or so they are all fixated at the gate, waiting. Rain, shine,  you name it, they are standing there. It's quite a fun hobby. We had 4-H chickens and FFA chicken projects, and state championships  and plenty of trophies when the children were younger, but now in my old age I like chickens, and enjoy a small (25) hobby flock. And we bought this one for our grandson.

bellamarie

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2015, 11:13:36 AM »
I remember wanting to find an online book club, so I typed into the Google search engine..."online book discussion" and lo and behold I clicked the link to SeniorNet.  I browsed around and then asked if I could join even though I was not a "senior."  I was welcomed by many, and I remember the first discussion I participated in was Teacher Man by Frank McCourt.  I had seen it was about a teacher, and since at that time I was still teaching in my K-8th Catholic grade school, I thought it would be interesting to read about a teacher and how he handled his classroom.



My next discussion I think was Seven Sisters by Margaret Drabble, which I thought was going to be about siblings.  Boy was I in for a big surprise!




I kept telling all the seasoned members, avid readers and well traveled members, I was the new little chick, with little traveling and knowledge of the places in the book discussions we were reading about.  You all were so patient and helpful, especially my nighttime fairy friend across the globe, Gumtree.  I will never forget her, every time I see fog, I think of how she would describe Australia to me.

All the members were so very welcoming, knowledged and willing to help me muddle through how this discussion worked.  It's been many years now, and I have had the pleasure of discussing many books with all of you, and I have to admit, at times I still feel like the new little chick, because you all are light years ahead of me when it comes to knowledge of authors, places, and history......but I am learning.  "Senior Learn" is a perfect name for this book club.  It has taken me away from Danielle Steele, into a whole new world of 18th Century novels such as my favorite of all times, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, to Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell which is one of my next favorites, to 14th Century Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset, and so many more.

I feel like I have traveled the world with all of you, and gotten at least a degree in minor history from our discussions.
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

PatH

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2015, 03:03:28 PM »
You sure don't seem like the new chick to me, Bellamarie,  you're an old friend.  And we learn from you too.  During the Emma discussion, you were never once fooled by Austen's misdirections.  You saw through all her misleading clues, and caught every one of her tiny clues about what was really going on, something I sure didn't do the first time I read it.  In fact you spotted some I still hadn't caught after several rereadings.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2015, 08:55:56 PM »
Amazing that there are books that we do not all get around to discussing with this group - I know I missed out on Three Sisters - but like PatH said Bellamarie, you were on fire during our Emma discussion.

Will you just look at those shoes in the painting you shared Ginny of the woman feeding the chickens - goodness - talk about clodhoppers - but then the painting does show she is wearing normal leather shoes under those wooden clogs which in my mind would be far more comfortable than the whole wooden shoe we see used as footware.

Haha yes, that could be an expression that I think at least in my mind I will adopt - some fiction is like corn - taste good but not very nourishing - that thank goodness was not fed to us here on SeniorLearn or SeniorNet - some stories may have been lighter than others but they were all substantial pieces of fictitious literature.

Ella so many great books you have helped to shine the light on over the years - you and Harold - the one that was more recent that really grabbed me was Those Angry Days by Lynne Olson - the only other book that I ended up reading so many additional tomes to delve deeper and sort out so many happenings was The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal - I think for both those books I must have read at least a half dozen additional books in an attempt to dig deeper. You really held us all together when we read Those Angry Days.

Not sure what character I would like to have been but a book that stayed with me was the Red Tent. - I could imagine myself among the women - Oh yes, another -

In one of the Mapp and Lucia stories - when they in Tilling - I would easily have loved being Grosvenor and watching all the shams and high-end outrageous shenanigans surrounding her boss, Lucia and then hearing all the gossip shared among the staff from the other households. I could not even imagine a change to any of the characters - the stories were just too perfect. To answer the door with such sincerity telling the story of Lucia's illness when the Italian Contessa came to visit Tilling was priceless or to have heard Lucia and Georgie play their fast-moving and perfectly-timed duets. The possibility puts a smile on my face

bellamarie

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2015, 01:32:34 AM »
Thank you PatH., and Barb, I must say I think I did get into Emma's character reading that novel.   ;D


I have to admit I have never read an entire book and pretended I didn't, but I can say I probably nudged PatH., a bit to finish up the third book The Cross, of the trilogy of Kristen Lavransdatter.  I could not wait to finish that book.

The one book I would like to have plopped myself down in was Night Villa by Carol Goodman.  I would love to have been the character Sophie Chase.  She not only traveled with her handsome professor Elgin to the isle of Capri Italy, but she was enthralled in a mystery of finding a cache of antique documents believed lost to the ages in the eruption of Italy’s Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.   

When Sophie enters the tunnels and chambers beneath layers of volcanic ash, the Villa della Notte–the Night Villa, I remember I was on the edge of my chair waiting to see what she would find.  It was intriguing, scary, breathtaking, and a bit eccentric.  I read so fast I didn't think I would stop, I had to see where this was all going to end.  Just when I thought I had it figured out, I found myself frightened for Sophie and not knowing who she could trust.  A real spell binder of a story.  What was especially special for me was that the author Carol Goodman joined us in our discussion, and we got to know her thoughts and reasons for writing the story, and she answered all of our questions we posed to her.  What a treat that was!

I looked back in the archives and found my very last post was in response to Ginny saying: "Still I doubt sincerely there is anybody here who did not learn something new."

I said:
I know I learned much and I would like to share a few things I have picked up.  Now don't think I could begin to speak Latin on my own, but with the help of some great sites I would never has visited had it not been for this book, I shall attempt my good byes.  Go ahead and laugh....I know I am. Looking foward to the next book,  Apudne te vel me? (Your place or mine?)

Ab (ex) uno disce omnes.     From one person, learn all.
Docendo discimus.              We learn by teaching.
Obesa cantauit.                         The fat lady has sung.
Cura, ut valeas!                 Take care!
Ab imo pectore.                 From the bottom of my heart.
Habetis bona dewm.           Have a nice day.
Te valere jubeo.                 I bid you farewell.

Vah! Denuone latine loquebar?  Me ineptum.  Interdum modo elabitur.   :o  ;)
Oh! Was I speaking Latin again? Silly me.  Sometimes it just sort of slips out.

Ciao.............
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

PatH

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2015, 03:02:43 AM »
 :)

Steph

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2015, 08:05:25 AM »
How I came here. Hmm, there was a senior net class being taught at the tech high school and a friend was in it.She told me of senior net and said they were on line and I fumbled around and found them.. I think possibly 1997-8..not quite sure. Then when they started messing around with the site,, the new one made me nauseous with all the color , flashing, etc, so I stopped. Someone, Ginny I think emailed me about senior learn and I dove in and have been around ever since. You have helped me through the darkest part of my life with the accident and my husbands death and made me want to get up and see what all of you are doing. I am and always will be eternally grateful to so many of you, who have helped me so much.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

PatH

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2015, 09:48:25 AM »
A year or so after JoanK joined SeniorNet, she persuaded me to join too.  I've never looked back.  At first, I was very timid about posting, but I soon got my courage back.  A very early book was Karen Joy Fowler's The Jane Austen Book Club.. Fowler joined the discussion, and about the time we finished, met some of us for tea after giving a book sogning in DC.  So I got to meet JoanP and Deems in person, and we had a delightful chat with Fowler.

pedln

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2015, 11:18:50 AM »
Well, please forgive my good intentions, which never panned out.  I've been here everyday -- so glad you brought this here, Barb -- and each day been side-tracked by looking at so many discussions, which have brought back so many memories. I've been trying to figure my own chronology, but don't trust my memory any more.

I don't remember when I first came to SeniorNet, or how I found it.  Someone on the web had put up a list of sites for Seniors, and I tried it.  I don't remember what year.  I was thinking it was after 9/11,  but see that I was reading Icebound with the group, and that was right during 9/11.  I think the first book I read with SeniorNet was Andre Dubus III's House of Sand and Fog.  Had never heard of book or author.  Probably never opened my mouth during discussion -- everyone was contributing such profound statements and I was such a light-weight.  Or it might have been Prodigal Summer, as I had read some Kingsolver.

PatH

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2015, 02:02:13 PM »
Ginny, I, too, was impressed by our Iliad discussion.  I read Lombardo's translation, with others on hand for comparison.  Not everyone likes Lombardo; he's rather slangy, but L. makes a good case for his being closer to the original.  Iliad was designed to be declaimed to an audience, wasn't even written down until later, and Lombardo's cries out to be read aloud.  In fact I did--almost all of it.  It's a good thing I live alone.

Here 's the Greek army marching off into the mist:

While the Greeks moved forward in silence,
Their breath curling in long angry plumes
That acknowledged their pledges to die for each other.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2015, 02:46:03 PM »
Haha blessed are the archives however... we could all get lost for days couldn't we - thanks Pedlin for reaching back in time and reconstructing when you started reading with SeniorNet/Learn - wow Prodigal Summer now that was a book - some stick with you and that is one that sticks.

Yes, Steph I think as much as you gained we gained - I do not remember ever having first hand anyone brave enough to walk through with a group online a time of grief after such a loss - you gave us a gift - thanks.

Oh PatH what excitement that made a nice memory to have lunch with the author of book that was high in the charts and then to have the personal connection to some of those who were posting their thoughts and discoveries on the reading site - not sure without checking the archives if we were SeniorNet or SeniorLearn while reading Karen Joy Fowler's The Jane Austin Book Club Speaking of Joan I am remembering when Joan shared with us her big move to the west coast - the wonders and the losses and no longer living near you I remember was a loss.

I'd love to get a picture in my head of how y'all share when posting on Senior Learn - yes, somedays I am still in my Jammies but here of late I mostly get online in the early afternoon however I am frequently online after midnight - sleeping is not my best skill for the past few years and so an afternoon nap seems to be a must.

I've a bedroom set up as an office with my computer and an old second computer that still has some things on it I need to retrieve - there is a book case and two desks and a console all jammed packed with office supplies and boxes of closed contracts stored in the closet going back to 1980  - in the tall bookcase is where I keep my books on symbolism and how to write and-and-and-

Usually I bring a cup of coffee that I often forget to sip and have to run out to warm it up two and three times - no longer do I bring my lunch after knocking the whole thing on the floor a couple of times - if I am home for the day it is a Tshirt and pants I would not be seen dead in outside the house - where as days I have other appointments than it is my typical work clothes - but never shoes - first thing I do is kick off my shoes - hate wearing shoes. During the cold part of winter I prefer fleece lined slippers with heavy socks.

And so where do you pull up your chair to chat with us on SeniorLearn - do you have a usual time of day to be online or do you grab a cup of or glass of and spend long chunks of time with us?

Steph

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2015, 08:50:01 AM »
Hmm..I am an early bird. I get up each day about 6 to 6:15am..rise,dress in uglies and off the dog and I got for our walk.. Up here in the vertical place,, I walk a mile, in Florida all winter, 2 miles..
then we come home, she gets her breakfast and I go shower , eat a light breakfast and settle down to the computer. do email, then onto Seniorlearn.. Today I am in a robe, but it depends on what I am doing later in the morning.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

mabel1015j

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2015, 11:14:08 AM »
I'm usually settling down in my loveseat with my coffee "and"..... with my dog Dana beside me, at around 10:00 am. Sometimes i'm still in a robe, or if dressed, I'm in something comfortable I have my ipad on a stand on the broad arm of the loveseat, sometimes i have the tv on catching up on the news. Then i check my email and come to visit with all of you. Sometimes, between checking out links and sipping and knoshing, all of that can take an hour or more. It's one of my favorite times of the day.

I enjoy all of your comments about reading, but also what is happening in your lives. It seems as though we've had to check more frequently with Maryz to see if she's been effected by the storms coming thru Tenn; we follow Steph from Fla to NC and back; Frybabe reminds me of my life in the Cumberland valley. Ginny remembers Peter Pan Bakery  (which 😫  is no more) in my present town; MaryPage, and others of you (Barb, Pat, Bellemarie, Pedln, Joan)  has something substantive to say about issues I care about. Ella and Jonathan (and others) have facilitated and added interesting comments in the non-fiction and Stories of Civ discussions(I knew i shouldn't have started with names, because i have enjoyed EVERYBODY's comments)

Thank you all for being my online friends and sharing your lives and your books with me, it is a highlight of my days.
Jean

Jonathan

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2015, 11:32:02 AM »
15

More on the wild side. I can truly say that SeniorNet and SeniorLearn make up a chapter in my life. The people I've met and the books I've read! It's so good to hear from you. And now, looking about in the archives, what a good time we have had. Some are gone, but left so much of themselves behind. Lorrie, at ninety, was preparing to lead a discussion of Moby Dick. And Deems recommended Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed, before she left us.

Good for you, JoanK, for questioning the 'opinion' of a famous historian. Nobody gets everything right, unless you call it fiction, I was happy to read that you convinced the rest. And to read that there was less dusting when you relocated to the west coast from the east coast. I remember thinking, of course, it's the clean air coming coming off the Pacific, and not the dust of a continent arriving in your home in DC.

I found a challenge in so many of your posts. This time it was counting the chickens in Ginny's wonderful picture of a farmyard scene. And one used to hear that it couldn't be done. The counting. Not the feeding. A hobby flock sounds like a lot of fun. Perhaps when my eyes grow too dim to read.

bellamarie

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2015, 12:16:52 PM »
Now that I am retired there is no pattern for when I am checking in.  My mornings I usually jump out of bed, eat breakfast while catching up on some morning news with my hubby, and then open up the computer to check my Facebook messages, emails, add a few comments and answer posts to friends & family on my Facebook page, then I click into Senior Learn, to see what you all are up to.  If I am reading and discussing a book, I usually will first read the comments and then add mine.

What am I wearing and where am I sitting.....almost always in my sweats & sweatshirt in the winter, sitting in my favorite chair with my warm snuggly blanket, with my Shih Tzu Sammy curled up on the footstool at my feet sleeping.  In the summer months it is my short pjs and tee, rarely ever do I have on my makeup. I never have the tv on while doing my computer, I need total silence.  I have my ipad close by and my iphone, and all my books, pens, paper, glasses, and a cup of coffee which never gets completely drank. I spend about an hour or so and then begin my day.  If i find the time after watching all my dvr shows at the end of the day and am not too sleepy, I will check in and post before I go to bed.  Although, I have been known to check into our discussions in the middle of the day if I have a slow day, and am excited about the book we are discussing.

Jean, that is so kind of you to mention names, I can't begin to start to tell each of you what you do for me in this group, so I will just say I admire and respect each and every one of you.  I love the differences of personalities and opinions, and the knowledge you all have just blow me away.  I do miss the ones who have passed on, and I carry their memory with me.  I love that we have the archives because it's like getting to go back and visit with everyone once again.

“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

JoanK

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2015, 04:20:41 PM »
I have it a regular part of my daily routine: after breakfast and before lunch, I go on the computer. I save Seniorlearn for last: First I feed the hungry by going onto The Hunger Site. Then I take care of all the stuff (deleting the dozens of mail messages that are ads and dealing with the one that isn't, doing the annoying business task of the day etc. etc.) Then my reward is that I can relax with my friends on Seniorlearn.

I'm wearing what I always wear: a tee shirt and comfy pants. I have three levels of dress: new tee shirt, middle aged tee shirt and old tee shirt. The one I have on today, I can date exactly because it has photos of my grandkids on it, and the 12-year-old is a baby in the photo. You can decide if that qualifies it as an old tee shirt yet.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2015, 10:30:25 PM »
Goodness I completely lost track of the days - and so the next group of questions will be for Saturday and Sunday

Saturday & Sunday   1.  Which of the stories we have read reminded you of events from your life?
      - What in your mind was the wildest, off beat story that we discussed?
 
Aug. 15 ~ Aug. 16   2.  Of the many authors who posted while we read one of their books, did any one author stand out for you and if so tell us how and why?
 
Aug 15 ~ Aug. 16    3.   Do you usually buy or borrow the books we discuss?
      - Buyers, after the discussion do you hang on to the book, give it away or even sell it?
      - Borrowers, when you return it, do you tell those in the library about any of the tidbits we shared during our discussion?

PatH

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2015, 11:47:49 PM »
JoanK, I'm probably the only one who knows what The Hunger Site is.  Would you elaborate?

PatH

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2015, 12:31:54 AM »
Barb, I'm glad you lost track of time.  We're going so fast it's hard to catch my breath.

There are different patterns to my SeniorLearn activities depending on where I am.  The last few days, I've been visiting JoanK.  (If you wondered what that laughter was that you heard ricocheting around the universe, it was us.).   At Joan's, I'm typing away on my ipad mini, probably grouching about my fingertip issues.  I might be anywhere, but most often I'm curled up on her comfy sofa.

Now I've shifted to Portland OR, where I spend a lot of time visiting daughters and grandchildren, still on my mini, but not complaining at the moment.

When I'm in Bethesda,MD, I'm on my Mac desktop.

All three places there's no time pattern, except I usually check first thing in the morning.  Then I mostly stop by at random times, more or less often depending on what's going on.  I'm wearing anything you can imagine walking out of your bedroom wearing, but most often khaki pants and a Tshirt, though my Tshirts aren't as interesting as JoanK's.

Steph

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2015, 08:53:29 AM »
hmm. Favorites, my favorites are the new(to me) authors that I cautiously tip my toes in and then, oh joy,, find an author who makes my heart sing or my brain start functioning.. so for me there are simply no favorites of all time. Possibly
Wally Lamb ranks the highest because he brought to us a whole new world and let us join him in exploring.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

ginny

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2015, 09:41:14 AM »
Golly what beautiful posts! I've loved them all! That was beautiful, Stephanie. I agree with what you said about Wally Lamb. He was one of the few people interviewed by 60 Minutes in the past whom they did not excoriate, I think they captured such a beautiful thing with that interview.

Little John is having an electronic Mind Craft moment, so I'll steal in here and post.

Barbara and Jonathan with the shoes of the woman in the feeding the chickens illustration!!  I never noticed them. After you mentioned it I went back to look and by George, she does have on leather shoes under those wooden clogs and it was an eureka moment for me because I have "chicken house shoes" but I get tired of changing into them and was looking about for some surgical booties when I saw your remarks. Of course! Wooden shoes! You could leave them outside the chicken house or pen OR...the rain would crack them, so how about those crocks? Surely somewhere I can find a pair of Crocks which would fit over the shoes and which the rain wouldn't bother. Genius! Thank you both for noticing. I never notice what's on people's feet for some reason.

Oh Pedln, right on with House of Sand and Fog!!! WASN'T that an incredible book? And discussion!   I will have to put that one right up there with the others I mentioned.

Not sure about Howard's End, tho.

I think the discussion (looking at today's questions) for me in which the author stood out, other than the ones already mentioned was the one  on climbing Mt. Everest, called  Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. And not in a good way. It's about the climbing of Everest in 1996 where so many died and how they died. He felt that the Russian Climber (I think he was Russian) Boukreev caused the death of many with his bravado and all but accused him of it in print. Whereupon Boukreev wrote his own book and said unflattering things about Krakauer. Turned out Boukreev saved quite a few  people, for which he is known, in that 1996 climb.    So it was truly a he said/ he said type of thing.   

I didn't know anything about mountain climbing then and I don't know much more now, but I sure have read books on it since,  including Boukeev's and that of  the egotistical doctor who also went. Boukreev died at 39 the next year  in an avalanche on Annapurna,  and is not around to defend himself, but he climbed 10 of the 14 top peaks without supplemental oxygen,  and I developed a dislike/ distrust  for Krakauer's statements ever since. Which one was right? It's a continuing controversy, just right for a book discussion.

bellamarie

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2015, 12:04:11 PM »
PatH., I love hearing you are spending time with your sister JoanK., livin and laughin it up.  I just spent a week reconnecting, reuniting and remembering precious memories with my cousin (more like sister) who I have not seen in years.  She and her sister came to live with us when her parents died at the age of 12 yrs, as if there were not enough girls under one roof already with my five sisters and myself.  She traveled and stayed with me for our class reunion.  We went to lunch with fellow classmates and cackled like chickens.  Then the next day lots of my alumni met at our old high school and walked the halls one more time, reminiscing of teachers, classes and events.  I was the tour guide/hostess so I had to bring my Senior class yearbook to put faces to names.  Later that day we had a huge reunion dinner/dance at a hall in my small hometown, where all of my former classmates gathered and we were able to catch up with each other after 45 yrs.  I talked and laughed so much I had NO voice for five days.  We are now on Facebook together and are talking about how we all still feel like we are in a cloud, and how magical the day/night was.  Oh to go back and being seventeen again......

JoanK., Hmmm.....12 yr old tee shirt.  I have a sweatshirt my daycare Moms had made for me for a Christmas present with all the daycare kids pics on it dressed in Ohio State/Michigan gear because they knew I love Michigan, and my hubby loves Ohio State football.  In the pic Austin is one year old, and he is a Junior in high school now, so that makes it 16 yrs old.  I saw him at our festival this past Sunday and he gave me the biggest hug.  My motto is....the older the more comfy!

Barb, this idea of "Our Wild Days" has been a lot of fun!  Wouldn't it be great to find a place to meet up one day with everyone who could make it? 
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

bellamarie

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2015, 12:26:32 PM »
I have been so busy I have not had a chance to read all the posts in the past days.  I was skimming through and found this one:

JoanK.,  I remember telling my sister "Boy, I'm never going back there!!". Luckily, I did look in the next day, and saw a zillion posts defending and praising me for being a critical reader, and encouraging me. This was my introduction to the lively, discussions we have here, and the supportive atmosphere that remains in spite of the wide variety of people and points of view. I later became good friends with the person who had criticized me.

When I read this I laughed so hard tears were rolling down my cheeks.  I wish I had a dime for every time I felt like you did JoanK.  We have a great group here and we all have strong opinions.  There are times I can come around to seeing things from a different perspective, and other times I have to resort to my favorite saying when I feel at at a standstill, which is "Agree to disagree."  I learned this in facilitating pre-cana classes with engaged couples. We gave them a sheet of questions they had to answer separately, then come together and go over their answers and see where they may be able to come to a common agreement.  At some point we facilitators could see there was no way the couple was going to both agree, so we would show them to respect each other's opinions, and be able to agree to disagree.  It has put out a lot of fires, in heated discussions.   :)  :)

Like you JoanK., I could never stay away. 
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

ginny

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #35 on: August 15, 2015, 01:38:56 PM »
OH and here's a coda: I just saw this!

Icelandic actor Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson portrays Boukreev in the upcoming Baltasar Kormákur film, Everest, about the 1996 Everest disaster. The film is scheduled for release on September 18, 2015, and stars Keira Knightley, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sam Worthington, Josh Brolin and Robin Wright.

This  might be a great time to read Boukreev's book or the ones about him. Just thinking out loud. :)

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2015, 03:26:28 PM »
Off the wall I know however, reading your post of the mountain climbers a flash went through my head of being a kid and singing "The Bear Went Over the Mountain - the bear went over the mountain - the bear went over the mountain to see what he could see ~ the last stanza ~ ...and never came back again" -

We know our nursery rhymes were written to alleviate trauma or memorialize those who were traumatized by events it appears to be a good fit.  ;)

Just spent an hour reading the discussion of Puddnhead Wilson - wow - looking at the characteristics of slavery over and above the emotional shock to our sensibilities - that was a riveting discussion that included representatives from the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut sharing what they knew about Mark Twain along with all sorts of tidbits from those participating that added to the story. 

From our question list - Which of the stories we have read reminded you of events from your life? - Many of the books we have discussed would allow me to walk into the story and feel at home although there are aspects of the story that do not fit - some that have a scene or emotional reaction by the characters I've lived through; A Portrait of a Young Man - The Blue Flower Bookshop - Teacher Man - Hanna's Daughter - The Painted House.

And then - What in your mind was the wildest, off beat story that we discussed? - there are two - Tale Of Genji - that went on and on with all sorts of sex alliances - we ended up just two of us in the discussion and finally I threw in the towel - sheesh - and the other - I never could make heads or tales out of the reason, the point of the book beyond all these unsold book in open air piles - Why - what were we supposed to do or feel beyond the sadness of realizing how unsold books meet their demise - I guess I was expecting more and it never came - Sixpence House

Do you usually buy or borrow the books we discuss? I usually buy or some I have had on my shelves for years but most I buy and when the discussion is over most end up as keepers - only a very few times did I give the book away since our reading interests are so different than the few I know who also read and then here of late I have been reducing my library so some I have sold.

JoanK

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #37 on: August 15, 2015, 03:36:07 PM »
there's another really great mountain climbing adventure book we read, and I can't remember the name. does anyone else?

before we leave the "sense of community" question, remember Don Quixote and our reader from Australia, Amparo, who, after it was over, came all the way to Washington DC to us? Someone recently posted a picture of her with some of us.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #38 on: August 15, 2015, 03:49:41 PM »
We had reading with us several over the years from Australia didn't we - and wasn't there someone from the Netherlands for awhile - and we had a couple from New Zealand - we could spend days in the archives finding all these folks - the bit I have looked at bring up names some of which I just do not remember any longer who they were or where they lived.

Sounds like your visit with Pat was a great time for both of you - so glad - and how neat to have something to talk about beyond family so that you can share viewpoints reading with Senior Learn.

The past focus questions are all now in the heading so there is no feeling of leaving a topic - if something hits a memory button about any of what we have already addressed please do not hesitate to add your memory to our discussion that will be such a valuable archive in no time flat.

Hope a few of our other SeniorLearn readers add to this memory page. 

Jonathan

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #39 on: August 15, 2015, 05:49:26 PM »
Camille Paglia's Break, Blow, Burn was a lot of fun. With Maryal/Deems as DL. And so were they all. It's an awesome archive. I believe the other mountain climbing book, Joan, was Joe Simpson's Touching The Void, but I can't find it.

Thanks, Ginny, for the news about the Everest film coming out in September. That will give me time to reread Anatoli Boukreev's Climb.

I enjoyed Ryszard Kapuscinski's Travels with Herodotus. And I highly recommend a bio of RK which I subsequently found. By Artur Domoslawski. The guy had an amazing career as an author and cold war reporter.

John Adams is perhaps my best remembered discussion. Thanks for that one, Ella.