If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Sunday, June 29, 2008

College Books

My list of house projects includes organizing my books and shelving what I can on the shelves b was kind enough to set up for me several months ago. Right now my bedroom floor is covered with piles of books [Note: The organization process could - and might - take days if I'm not careful.]

It's interesting to see that my interests have barely changed over the years. I am amazingly consistent. In fact I'm finding many of the books I read in my early twenties could be helpful now for my research.

I don't have many books left from my college days (I went to the BEST college ever) but I did find 2 from the 1 anthropology course I took. I adored this course. We read Nisa: The Life and Work of a Kung Woman by Marjorie Shostak. Opening it today I found the one passage in the entire book that I had underlined - a quote from Margaret Mead:

In every known society, the males' need for achievement can be recognized. Men may cook or weave or dress dolls or hunt hummingbirds, but if such activities are appropriate occupations for men, then the whole society, men and women alike, votes them important. When the same occupations are performed by women, they are regarded as less important.

The other book that survived from that class is Women of the Shadows: A Study of the Wives and Mothers of Southern Italy by Ann Cornelisen. I had underlined several passages but the one that stands out for me today is a quote from Teresa, a woman who worked a farm to small to be profitable while her husband went to Germany to work:

Nobody can ever say Paolino didn't get on because he had a lazy wife! Some days I wish I could add. I bet if you count what I've got off the land and the chickens and those years I've had a pig and all my hired work, why, I bet I've brought in more in the last ten years than Paolino has, that is, money we could spend or food we could eat. Good years he's earned it, but he had to spend it too.

If Boy has half the intellectual experience I had at college it will be worth every penny.

4 comments:

Deb said...

interesting passages from both, but the quote from Margaret Mead speaks volumes (ha - is that a pun?), truer words were never spoken.

when is Boy coming home? soon i hope, i know it feels like forever.

Seeking Solace said...

I have some college books I should let go of!

Adamgv said...

Great Blog. I wish you much success.

meldoesgradschool said...

Awesome passages from both. I LOVE when I find books where I've underlined/highlighted stuff that's super-helpful now. Although I always wonder how I've managed to forget it all... or at least forget that it was there. I pretend that I must have somehow known, which was why I was drawn to re-open the book... the delusion works pretty well for me!