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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mrs. Woodbridge, I read the assignment!!

Last night I completed Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop.  It was assigned in 1971 by Mrs. Woodridge, my professor for Women in American Lit.  I don't know why I blew it off then, but I did and felt badly for doing so -- both for disappointing my professor (I had to be honest when she asked me a question) and for not having this rich story in my collective memory.  Mrs. Woodbridge died a year ago, but I really want her to know I read her assignment.  You think "Blogger" goes that far??  I want her to know that soon after disappointing her, I was on the other side of that desk teaching The Crucible, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, O! Pioneers...having learned  the importance of reading much of these treasures aloud with my students.  :)


I'm pretty sure I read all the other novels she assigned:   those of Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome) and Ellen Glasgow (I haven't a clue, but remember it was good.  She was awarded a Pulitzer for one of her novels -- maybe it was that one?), but for some reason skipped Cather's -- a wonderful novel -- almost plotless, but one depicting the beauty of the Southwest, the dignity of its indigenous peoples, and the respect (yes -- respect!) of the French missionaries for the Mexicans and Indians and their love of the beauty of that part of our country.  So different from many stories of missionaries.  (Ever read Michener's Hawaii??  Horrid.)


Well now I'm in the mood to read some of the other masterpieces that I've 'missed': maybe  Anna Karenina, War and Peace and Moby Dick.  


So many books; so little time...

10 comments:

Linda said...

There are so many wonderful books out there that I've missed because I've had my nose stuck in a piece of nonfiction.

Lena said...

Yes, I do think Blogger reaches that far! And I am sure Mrs. Woodbridge is very proud of you!

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

I plodded through Anna Karenina the first time and it was not a favorite although I don't know why. That was a long time ago. Last year I downloaded it from iTunes, and listened to it while I walked. I loved it so much I then bought Peony and walked to it! I'd have never thought I would enjoy not reading as much as reading....but I did!

George said...

I have no doubt that Mrs. Woodridge is smiling now that you've completed your assignment. It sounds as if you are going to have plenty of good reading in the days ahead.

Kimberly said...

I downloaded a bunch of classics I had missed reading when I bought my Kindle. I've read some of them but have gotten sidetracked by 'modern' fiction, some nonfiction, etc...so much to read, so little time!

Mage said...

Unlike Linda, I have missed so many good books because my nose was in Sci Fi or a mystery. LOL

Bilbo said...

"Death Comes for the Archbishop" is one of my favorite novels, and contains one of my all-time favorite lines: "Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things."

openconceptkitchen said...

Mrs. Woodbridge would be pleased, very pleased!

Gilly said...

Let us know if you ever finish "War and Peace"!

Amy said...

I love Willa Cather's books and am glad you read Death Comes for the Archbishop. I don't have much good to say about Moby Dick, there are some extremely tedious chapters in that book. Anna Karenina is wonderful. War and Peace is good, it's just very long!