Friday, November 11, 2016

Pause


On this day every year, I think of an editorial piece shared in my first college English class, an introductory composition course (English 101, Critical Reading and Writing), which turned out to be one of the most important courses I would take in my college career. Professor Price was young and enthusiastic. She was passionate about Coleridge and Shelley, Lawrence and Eliot. She helped me learn to enjoy poetry for the first time, even though I'd always been a great lover of prose. We spent a lot of time on the World War I poets, which I really loved. She was a very good teacher and I was sorry to see her move on to a different college at the end of that year. I'd hoped to take more classes with her when I declared my English major the following fall.

I had many other good teachers in my courses, major subject and otherwise, later on, but I will always remember the way that she made the most poignant of poetry come alive, and the way she helped her students see connections between literature of bygone eras and the world they inhabited in the late 20th century. We were young adults who had grown up in a place and time of prolonged peace and prosperity. We didn't know much about fear. In class on November 11, Professor Price handed out a xeroxed copy of an editorial in that day's New York Times which gave me pause then and has always stuck with me. I think I've shared it here before. I read it every year; I have it bookmarked on my laptop, after finding it archived several years ago. The world is quite different now than it was even when the editorial was written, but the sentiments stand. It's here, if you'd like to read it.

I'm thinking about taking a few days away from the internet; it's getting a bit overwhelming for me. I hope you have a good weekend and that you find time for things that bring you comfort and calm.

24 comments:

  1. I think many of us have that one special teacher who inspired us. Enjoy your time away from the internet, it's good once in a while to take time out away from technology.

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  2. Thanks for the link. I see why you like that piece so much. I liked it too. Hope you find some peace away from the web. That's probably a good idea for everyone now. Tensions are high. Love, Pammy Sue

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  3. How lovely to hear about your teacher, it's wonderful to find someone so inspiring. The words are beautiful and very thought-provoking. I sometimes find time away from the internet and other news outlets is a very good thing. As you say, it can all be quite overwhelming at times. Wishing you a lovely weekend and some peaceful and happy time with your beautiful family. Hugs, CJ xx

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  4. Thank you Jennifer, a very well written piece. I've been keeping my distance from the Internet all week and trying to only read the "warm fuzzy" things. I'm very disappointed in many people from both sides after hearing the words and names that are being said to each other. I refuse to involve myself in that. Our country is better than this. I hope you have a lovely weekend my friend.
    Blessings always,
    Betsy

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  5. Take care Jennifer and enjoy the peace away from technology. Have a lovely weekend with your family.

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  6. I read the link, I understand how it gives you, as it should, pause for thought. Take care xx

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  7. The article definitely makes one stop and think. I understand the need to for a break. I've turned off the news. I just can't watch it right now. Enjoy your time away. Lisa

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  8. I can totally understand your need for an internet break. Wish I had the willpower to do the same. I'm totally sucked in. I did write a blog post yesterday about peaceful diversions though. Looking forward to reading that editorial; will do so later when the house is quiet and I can concentrate.

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  9. Thank you, Jennifer. I too, feel paused. I continue to pray we may appreciate peace, and how each of us can best invest in it and share it with everyone. Thanks for the link and for posting. May you and yours know much joy. xx

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  10. Beautiful serene photo and thoughts Jennifer. I too remember my college English teachers so well, and never forget the influence they had on my life and thoughts. Enjoy your break, you do a lot of writing - wish I could keep up with you :)

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  11. How wonderful that your teachers left such an impression on you. I don't know what to do or say right now, except try to stay hopeful, and be kind. An internet break is often a good thing. Take care of yourself. Xx

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  12. Beautiful! Look after yourself xx

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  13. Sometimes we need to be alone with our thoughts, so I do hope your break will fill you with a more positive frame of mind. Look after yourself Jennifer xx

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  14. Beautiful post Jennifer, and I read your link and thought it was very well written and thought provoking. Enjoy your break away from the internet x

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  15. That's a beautiful piece, thank you. Sometimes a social media break is the best thing to do.

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  16. Inspirational teachers are a blessing. I have clicked through your link and have started reading the editorial. Thank you for sharing it. I had an inspirational Italian teacher and a love for all things Italian stays with me now. Wishing you a peaceful weekend with your beautiful family. xx

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  17. The whole shebang feels rather overwhelming at the moment – I hope you find it restorative to take a break. Inspirational teachers do leave their mark and I'm glad you had that experience. Take care, Jennifer. Sam x

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  18. I think everyone needs to press pause right about now. Our elders certainly have much to teach us and yet we don't seem to learn anything from the past. Enjoy your break.

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  19. One of our regular local walks takes us through a peaceful village churchyard where we walk past the grave of Harry Patch. He was a local man who lived to be the last surviving British soldier who fought in WW1. He spoke movingly and honestly about what that war was really like - he had no time for anyone who glorified or prettied it up.
    We never pass his great without remembering the huge and terrible sacrifice made by men and women like him, like us; and without appreciating the peace that we are fortunate to experience. And also remembering the many in our world today who are not similarly fortunate.
    Thank you so much for this thoughtful piece, and the link to the editorial. Timely in all sorts of ways.

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  20. A beautifully written piece -- thank you for sharing. Such a tough week. I tried to take the weekend off from the internet and for the most part succeeded. Such a tough time.

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  21. Thanks for sharing.. it was a well written piece..
    Having lived in a 3rd world county for almost a decade I know what turmoil and political unrest look like. I want to shout at so many people asking them what have they seen? what have they experienced? they live in a internet/social media bubble..
    This is a great country for a reason.. yes it has it's up and downs.. that's normal, the american dream may have changed a bit but it is still one hell of a country because of the countless people who have fought hard to create and maintain and protect it. Far too many people take it for granted instead of appreciating it with all its colors.
    It has been a week like no other.. but we will overcome and fingers crossed one day may even be stronger for it..

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  22. That was a lovely piece to share. Taking a break is a wise thing to do if you need it x

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  23. Everyone needs a break sometimes, and I hope you enjoy taking one now and feel refreshed soon.
    Sending love.
    Helen xox

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