Showing posts from February, 2012

What Other Kids Do

Apologies, first of all, because this post is not as constructed as I generally offer.  It's more or less off the top of my head, but the topic is one I've been thinking about lately, and I wanted to record those thoughts despite my lack of free quiet time over the past few weeks.

     The general rule with social interaction is that you avoid speaking of religion or politics.  It's usually a wise rule because these are two areas people feel passionately about, and those who give the subjects that weight are frequently unwilling to listen to opposite opinions.  Yet, because they concern the things we believe, and because they are that important to us,  I think we may be missing out on opportunities to enrich ourselves when we choose to avoid those conflicts.  I tend to stick with the rule except when I'm with people I know are open to honest exploration.  But here, I guess you can always opt to stop reading if you don't agree, so I'm going to venture into that …

At the Library

Day to day, I watch the tides of interlibrary loan.  Books and media of all sorts move in and out of my department.  Other libraries' items flow in for our patrons, and our items flow out for others.  The variety is amazing.  Just this past week, we have received or sent items on a wide range of topics, including art, history, religion, science, economics, and psychology.  Materials in multiple languages have crossed my desk - English, Spanish, Polish, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, French, and Gujarati.  In addition to the novels, movies, music and children's books of all flavors, we have facilitated access to books on subjects as diverse as woodworking, philosophy, teaching methods, and real estate.  Practical matters like nutrition, car repair and sewing were represented as were academic studies like chemistry and medicine.  Our patrons are interested in everything from computer programming to learning Korean to politics and world events.  Without exaggeration, I am continua…


At times, I take great comfort in my capacity to be wrong.  My daughter regularly counted on that quality when she was growing up.  Often, my first answer to a request for permission on one thing or another was instinctively "no".  Mothers are protective of their little ones and wary of potential dangers in all things "fun".  But my daughter learned that if she kept trying, that "no" might eventually swing around to a reluctant "yes".  All children try this tactic, and many a parent has been worn down by a persistent plea.  If she had gone the usual route, however, I doubt she would have had much success.  Repetition, begging or whining would have broken on an unyielding wall of stubbornness and only strengthened my resolve.  But calm, reasoned arguments would always find a way in, and she could be very good at that.

     Often, the fears that prompted a negative response could be eased with logical counterarguments, and the simple demonstr…