Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What I'm Reading

I was asked to do a post on what I'm reading these days. The stack above represents the readings I'm working my way through for the first semester of a graduate degree I've begun working on. It looks like an intimidating stack to this bibliophile and I must admit that reading is taking up the majority of my time these days! As a homeschooler, this isn't really a new thing but in the 10+ years since college I'd definitely gotten used to reading whatever I want and am finding assigned reading to be a bit more cumbersome. My undergrad degree from Hillsdale College was great preparation for this "Great Books" graduate degree and I find myself wishing I had kept more of my class notes.  

This semester I’m taking three classes. The first is Plato and Augustine and I’ve been reading some Hesiod as well as The Republic. The class will be starting City of God in a few weeks and I'm looking forward to that.  I’m really interested in this course as we’re discussing justice, good, and politics. The dueling notion of earthy and heavenly cities and how those idea affect our lives is fascinating to me. It has reinforced my belief that an educated citizenry is absolutely essential for the existence of a good government. Reading these books that have existed for millennia certainly puts our political situation into proper perspective. 
My next course is Dante and Milton and we’ve read a couple of Aristophanes plays to establish classical ideas of comedy. We’ve finished Dante's Comedy and I loved re-reading the InfernoPurgatory and Paradise were new to me and I really enjoyed Purgatory. Dante is challenging to me because I'm much more of a prose girl and the tercet format Dante used sort of lulls me to sleep. This week I'm breaking open Paradise Lost and think it will be fun to contrast Dante’s comedic vision of the world and afterlife with Milton’s tragic vision. 
Finally, I’m taking an Old Testament survey course that will take me through the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Hosea, Judges, Ruth, and Samuel. So far I have found this course to be amazing. The professor ties everything to the New Testament showing how it all foretold the coming of Christ. It sort of boggles my mind in a lot of ways and I’m finding it stretching. So far my class has read through Genesis and Exodus and I've been working my way through Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy this week. I must admit that I have found listening to these particular books much more engaging than reading them. I find that for my learning style, I get more out of listening to these particular books. There is a lot of repetition and you can tell that they were originally part of an oral tradition so I've been using this website to listen to them while I cook or clean. Very glamorous, right? 
I will admit that this amount of reading is challenging to me. I find that some days it feels like drudgery and it's all I can do to focus my mind on the words that seem to be blurring into each page. In order to ensure that reading does not become something I no longer enjoy, I have also joined a couple of book clubs. I find that if I can mix up the reading a bit the academic continues to be pleasurable and I get more out of the non-required reading. Does that make sense?
So there you have it, my current reading. What are you reading? Do you find that keeping up with your children and student's reading is all you can manage on top of regular life? If reading is an escape for you or something you cannot live without, how do you make time for it? 
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  1. Where are you getting a great books graduate degree? That sounds interesting!

  2. I agree. This sounds very interesting! Please continue to share as you move along through your degree. I keep saying I'm going to start reading more of the great books just for my own education (this was definitely lacking in my traditional education).

  3. I would like to know where you are getting that degree as well.

  4. Hi!
    Thanks for your interest in my degree program. I'm doing an MA in Christianity and the Classics at Knox Theological Seminary. They are actually offering some pretty great scholarships for their online degree right now and you can check it out at: http://www.knoxseminary.edu/