Author Topic: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn  (Read 11907 times)

Steph

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #160 on: August 28, 2015, 08:53:20 AM »


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


Memory Jog
Monday and Tuesday Where you a part of the Prison initiative that was also supported by Wally Lamb when he was instrumental in supporting the women writing their stories? Tell us about it?
  – Where you a part of sending children's books to the Indian Reservation? Tell us about it?

 
Aug. 24 ~ 25 What snapshot of your "Wild Days" and the Good Life reading on SeniorLearn lives in your heart that you want to leave us with as your gift to all of us.

 

If you have just joined us or need 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?

  • Monday & Tuesday: Do you track the books you have read or the books you plan to read? Do you have a stack of books TBR? While reading do you underline passages or slip a marker to note certain phrases. If you keep your books do you ever go back to find some passage half remembered. Is there one book above all others with the most saved passages?
  • Are there any discussions that you did not join and now regret you did not read the book with the group? Which book is it that you regret not joining? Have you since read it or, is it still in your TBR pile?
  • Have you read a book on your own and then turned to the archived discussion after or while reading the book? Did that help or open your eyes to new and different aspects of the story?
  • Had you seen the movie of a book we were discussing before the discussion and if so, did it make a difference how you understood the story and the characters? Most movies reduce the number of subplots to one overall issue raised in the story. Did you notice this in any movie you saw before or after we discussed the book? Did the movie focus the narrative for you or did you feel the story was changed or incomplete?

  • Wednesday - Saturday: – 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 – 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 book discussions. – 10 of your favorite or most remembered discussions here on SeniorLearn.

  • Memorial Day - Finding past contributors and noting if they passed
 

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




OK.. I used to participate more in book discussions,, but they used to be more about the actual book and less about how it was written, or where the reader felt the author fell...or other things that do no interest me.. I still love Senior learn, learn new authors or old authors who have just published a new book.. We are quite a varied group and possibly a classic type group and a more everyday type of group would be easier. I just flat out dont know. I am busy and that does not help. But I kept some notes and it has been quite a while that we had a book that I wanted to read.. and that is sad..
Stephanie and assorted corgi

PatH

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #161 on: August 28, 2015, 11:14:53 AM »
Good.  We're getting some ideas here; that's what I hoped for.

First, I want to make something clear: we want all of you here, whether you participate in the monthly book discussions or not.  This site is about many things.

However, the long discussions are the linchpin of the site; they provide its structure, and it's crucial to keep them healthy.

Picking the right books is important.  For some years, we were asking people for suggestions, then having a vote.  This stopped working well--the votes were too scattershot, with no one book getting enough votes to make a good discussion.  (You need 5 or so unless they are extremely active.)  So we went back to the original method of letting discussion leaders pick books they wanted to lead and thought would make good discussions.  Suggestions are always welcome, and will definitely be taken seriously.

Variety is important, something for everyone.  We seem to be OK there.  In the last year we have done 4 fiction books, 2 of them classics and 2 recent, one poem, and 4 non-fiction, one 19th century history/culture, 2 20th century, and one current scientific issues.

Any further ideas are welcome.

mabel1015j

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #162 on: August 28, 2015, 12:52:30 PM »
I am not going to be helpful here.  ;D No new ideas, I'm happy.  :)

I like things as they have been for the ten years I've been a part of SL. I've joined in some of the indepth discussions when a book has sounded like something i want to read and I've joined in some that I wasn't sure about and ended up liking the discussion more then I expected to. I also like the "drop-in" sites like Library and Mystery where I've found some very good conversation and heard about some new (to me) authors and books.

I have noticed that the regulars have gotten to be a smaller group and that there haven't been many new people. I tell people about the site often, but don't have knowledge that anyone I know has joined us.

By the way, some of you may remember Karren Hill who was with us for a while and posted on S and F's, she is not doing well, she's been battling cancer for a couple of years. Her daughter has let some of us know that she will read all emails that might be sent to KarrenHill@gmail.com to cheer up her mother.

Jean

jane

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #163 on: August 28, 2015, 01:23:11 PM »
Jean....Karren passed away at 2:00 am this morning, with her daughter holding her hand and at home as she wanted.

She fought a long, hard battle with cancer.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #164 on: August 28, 2015, 01:44:33 PM »
Thanks Jane - appreciate your bringing the news to us...

mabel1015j

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #165 on: August 28, 2015, 02:07:29 PM »
Ohhhh, that makes me so sad. ..............thank you for letting us know.

Jean

bellamarie

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #166 on: August 28, 2015, 04:18:31 PM »
My deepest sympathies and prayers go out to Karren Hill's family.

PatH.,
Quote
First, I want to make something clear: we want all of you here, whether you participate in the monthly book discussions or not.  This site is about many things.

However, the long discussions are the linchpin of the site; they provide its structure, and it's crucial to keep them healthy.
Very well said!  Indeed we want each and every one of you here, in any capacity possible.  I just think we need to address the drop off in the participation in the discussions.  If anyone can help us improve to get more people involved it would be good for the club. 

As for the choosing of future books for discussions, I would like to see the books that have been mentioned prior, come back around for consideration.  I have seen a few members say they recommended a book and it fell to the wayside.
“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 #167 on: August 28, 2015, 05:18:25 PM »
'd like to hear more from those who DON'T participate. it sounds like some of us just don't want to chew over a book for a month. That's fine! But what about the others.

STEPH: you say there hasn't been a book you were interested in for a long time. Can you think what about a book would make you interested? What would make a good discussion book for you?

Not all books have enough "meat" in them to be worth talking about for a month.  I've only led (or co-led with Ella) two discussions lately, and I was lucky: they were both good discussion books even though different ("Boys in the Boat" and "Emma"). I'm trying to think what made them so.

Both immersed us in a time and culture different from ours, and in enough detail and variety that we could appreciate different aspects of it. Boat in the suffering during the depression, the effects of poor family life, the nuts and bolts of rowing, the rowing culture, the craftsmanship, and against that the whole Nazi culture. Emma, the details of upper class life in England: the minutia and its importance. Both had deeper levels: the mystical aspect of rowing in boat, the search for character and what it takes to live a good life in Emma. Emma had not the craftsmanship of building a good boat, but the craftsmanship of building a good story (and of leading us astray again and again) and of portraying character and conversation so accurately. Other books we have read have the symbolic richness that barb is talking about.

And of course, they have to be good stories. They were good drama: drew us in, kept us in suspense etc. But that's not enough for a month-long discussion: we can just read ahead and finish the book, and discuss whether we liked the ending. No, there has to be things to learn or think about all along the way. That is why we have these discussions: because some books need to be savored: the details need to be appreciated: the richness.

And then there are books that are too scary to approach alone, and it helps to have company along the way. Whether it's Shakespeare, that a H English teacher persuaded us we were too dumb it ever understand, or a scary subject (who would want to read a 400 page book about ebola al one?) it helps to have hands to hold along the way.

And some are too long, and knowing we'll pause along the way gives us courage to start them. Even if we don't finish, we get something from them.

JoanK

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #168 on: August 28, 2015, 05:21:56 PM »
I got off the subject. those who don't participate, but could: what might attract you to one.?

JoanK

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #169 on: August 28, 2015, 05:31:02 PM »
There are a zillion ways to read a good book. If someone else is interested in some aspect of the book that I'm not, I just skim or skip those posts, leave them for someone else and read the ones I am interested in. The main thing is not to feel that MY way of reading a book is the RIGHT way. I was very interested in the mysticism in "Boat", but I made several posts about it, and saw no one else picked it up. Fine, move on.

PatH

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #170 on: August 28, 2015, 05:46:50 PM »
Quote
I have seen a few members say they recommended a book and it fell to the wayside.
This happens sometimes.  Usually, it's because there weren't enough votes for it to make a discussion.  You need five or so to make it good, especially since you have to allow for someone not liking the book after all and dropping out.

Occasionally it's because no one wants to lead the discussion.  It's a lot of work, and you don't want to do it if you don't feel you could do a successful job, or the book doesn't have enough in it to make a successful discussion.

nlhome

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #171 on: August 28, 2015, 07:41:30 PM »
This discussion came at a busy time for me, traveling, company, a wedding party for our last child to be married, and of course the many distractions of summer. I haven't had time to read all the posts, yet.

Why don't I participate in book discussions? Well, I have a couple of times, but mostly I don't. Sometimes the books don't appeal; sometimes (like with the Lake book for next month) there is not a copy available through my system inter-library loan, and I don't have time order outside the system (I don't buy books for myself any more unless at the Friends of the Library sale) and usually I just don't like being held to a schedule when I read.

One of my majors in college was English, and I parsed, discussed, tore apart, analyzed and examined poems, stories and books until my eyes crossed. I read Jane Eyre once in high school, twice in college - talk about digging into a book! I enjoyed it at the time, but I don't do that in-depth dissection often now. I appreciate that others do.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #172 on: August 28, 2015, 08:23:40 PM »
nlhome thanks for updating us that the Lake book is not readily available - you may want to add to the 'Lake' conversation in that we are looking at the lake we mostly frequent and seeing it through the eyes of the author as he describes his experiences as well as his concerns and best of all how a lake is birthed or created - it will be easy enough for us to go online to learn more about our own nearby lake that we never think to look at the lake through the eyes that this book offers.

this look at our lake will be advanced by the focus questions and so where it would be lovely to read the words in the book the bones of the book will be translated into focus questions.

Hope to see your post during the discussion.

Annie

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #173 on: August 29, 2015, 09:32:56 AM »
While I was in the warm water pool for PT for my knees, I met a lady who asked me where I got my WEEKLY READERbag that I use to carry my belongings to the pool twice a week.  I told her about our group and where I got the bag.  1st DC trip.  She seemed interested in looking in so I gave her our SL address on the web.  I will see her next week when we graduate to PT on dry land.  I will remind her about us.  She's loves to read so I will tell her some more then.  She's younger than most of us so I am hoping she will tell others about us.  We will see. :)
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #174 on: August 29, 2015, 02:23:13 PM »
Wonderful Ann - now that is an idea - to have a reading bag designed that we could purchase and use to carry what does not fit in our purse -

Jonathan

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #175 on: August 29, 2015, 02:38:03 PM »
Let's keep going. We're still a happy few who can make an adventure out of reading a book. And, it seems to me, the most recent discussions have been the best. (Sorry I didn't pick up on the mysticism, Joan, I was trying too hard to stay dry.) But then do I have a book for you. For everyone. I was reminded of it after seeing the Tokyo book scene posts in Library and thinking of Mr. Hundert's (The Palace Thief) awakened interest in Japan. I see it as another great journey, following David McCullough's. So my contribution to the subject under discussion is to propose anther mutually-supportive read.

The Great Wave: Gilded Age Misfits, Japanese Eccentrics, and The Opening of Old Japan, by Christopher Benfey. Symbol and Mysticism without end. Lots of literary adventure, beginning with Herman Melville and his quest, to Theodore Roosevelt's quest for new judo techniques. The index is a Who's Who of cultural and scientific America. As well as Buddhism and bushido, whatever that is. Hope y'all don't mind travelling whaling ship.

The author teaches literature at Mount Holyoke College and the book was published in 2003. Here's a picture on page 95 that has Isabella Gardner and friends. Of course you might expect to find her in Japan, picking up some things for her place in Boston. And here's another. Of Theodore Roosevelt, with representatives from Japan and Russia, negotiating a peace treaty at Portsmith, New Hampshire, 1905. p256

Jonathan

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #176 on: August 29, 2015, 02:45:48 PM »
I have a Gardiner Museum catalogue in the house somewhere. I must find it and see what Isabella picked up in Japan. Or perhaps I'll get into the car and drive down to Boston. It's a dream collection,

PatH

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #177 on: August 29, 2015, 04:13:46 PM »
It's a dream collection, and both amusing and maddening to go through.  Everything is arranged pretty much the way she had it when she was alive, and if there's a system, I don't know it.  And things are poorly labelled.  So if you're looking for something, you might not find it, but you also run across unexpected treasures when you're looking at something else.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #178 on: August 29, 2015, 04:29:10 PM »
I ordered a used copy from Amazon - sounds like a fascinating time of discovery for foreigners visiting Japan - Never thought I ever wanted to visit Japan except for one area where Shinto monks have a path up the side of a mountain to their shrine - When I was into needlework their use of silk and gold thread is phenomenal but so beyond my capabilities however, browsing the patterns was a joy.

Now with the article about an area of Tokyo that is all about books there is more to Japan that seems interesting - there was a book something about understanding some of the beliefs that are seen exhibited in sublet ways like the tying of the two huge rocks in the waters off Japan. Do not know if they are on the sea side or the ocean side of Japan. 

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #179 on: August 29, 2015, 10:30:12 PM »
Wheee we are open - Jane did it... our pre-discussion For Love of Lakes is open and ready AND the link is in the heading for the intro to the book along with the link to the book that is about 3/4ths of the book that is available to us from Amazon - here is the link to the discussion ... http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=4803.0

Annie

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #180 on: August 30, 2015, 12:28:39 PM »
Jonathan, the Gilded Age sounds very interesting.  Would you be willing to lead it?  I am willing to discuss it.  And it sounds like many here are interested also.  What say you?

Barbara, I have ordered Love of Lakes from my library and don't know if its in yet.  But I hope to discuss it with you.
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

mabel1015j

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #181 on: August 30, 2015, 12:51:32 PM »
I would also be interested in the Gilded Age, or anything about TR. That is a fascinating period of history and he is one of the most fascinating characters in American history.

Jean

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Our Wild Days: Creating the Good Life on SeniorLearn
« Reply #182 on: August 31, 2015, 02:34:34 PM »
Thanks everybody - this has been great - to look back at who we are and take pride in our history and then to look forward - to the future - just great - we will be closing this discussion the end of the day -

You can meet us in our next discussion - For Love of Lakes - that we have somewhat started but we have not explored the book more than the introduction to the book - also we found that the majority of the book is online as an extensive preview offered by Amazon - here is the pre-discussion where we are sharing our memories of lakes we have experienced as children and the lake we visit now as adults - http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=4803.0