Friday, May 21, 2010

On Edgar Rice Burroughs

In movies and old TV shows you see children and adults, both male and female, enthralled with adventure tales of classic literature.  Fathers and sons become lost in the never ending adventure. Mothers and daughters are swept away by fairy tale romances that seem predestined to fail, but in the end love triumphs above all.  As a child of G.I. Joe, E.T., and Star Wars, it seems impossible that anyone could enjoy adventure before the advent of laser beams and computer graphics.  I have recently discovered that this is not true.  I am currently in the process of reading and/or listening to two books by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  Once these are completed I will have read seven of his books this year! 

Following is a list of Edgar Rice Burroughs book that I have read so far:

The Land that Time Forgot
The People that Time Forgot
Out of Time's Abyss
Tarzan of the Apes
The Return of Tarzan

I am currently reading The Princess of Mars and The Beasts of Tarzan.

Each of these books is a blockbuster in itself.  They don't need the big screen to bring the characters to life.  Each book is nothing but unadulterated fun and adventure. I know that there are underlying themes that I am not going into, but I'm not writing a criticism.  I just want to share the joy I get from these stories. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

On the Teachings and Examples of Katherine Aug

I am one of the few people who can say that I had a close relationship with one of my great grandparents. This was not the kind of relationship where I got a sweater in exchange for a hesitant kiss on the cheek at Christmas. This was truly a deep and meaningful friendship. No, I did not see her on a weekly, or even monthly, basis. When I was a child I saw her more often than in laters years, but our relationship did not suffer because of it. My grandmother taught me to how to think and how to learn in a way that brought pleasure to academic pursuits. She talked to me as an adult. She made me coffee, lit herself a cigarette and taught me to play Solitaire. In the process if teaching me this game she talked about the new book she was reading or answered questions from Jeopardy on the TV. Grandma Aug taught me to think not by telling me to think, but by making me think when I was oblivious to the fact that thinking was possible. I don't remember ever staying at her house and watching something mindless on TV. She was not the type to let the television entertain me. It wasn't her job to entertain. She wanted me to think and to learn. We watched public television and Paddington Bear, and we read through Trivial Pursuit cards when there was nothing on worth watching. I see parents and grandparents today spoiling their children by promoting mindless activities. I see kids who spend every free moment in front of a computer screen or a video game console. I love video games, but I'm 31 years old. A child's mind needs intellectual stimulation that only another human being can give. Something gets lost when there is a television or computer screen used as the go between. No actual interaction is required. Relationship skills are lost in the convenience of checking up on someone on a social networking site. Nothing is required, and nothing is gained. My grandmother may have taken 20 years off of my life with her second hand smoke, but the time spent in the haze produced a man that is more content with his station in life. Once the smoke cleared, I realized that I was ready to sit back and 'smell the roses' of this life. I am in no hurry. There is a whole big world out there and I will not stop until I have taken in as much of it as I can. I will not rush around as this life passes me by. Kartherine Aug taught me that the way to knowledge and contentment was through sitting still and taking in the world around you. I intend to do just that.

Monday, February 22, 2010

the beginning

This is how it starts. This is where Matt Lehman grows up. I have decided that the time has come to put away selfish things, and move forward in my pursuit of maturity. Maturity acquired by maximizing the mendicant, by begging for and seeking the things that cause me to grow as a human being. I seek wisdom, purity, and knowledge in all things. Things, such as facebook, have become a distraction, and I see the future dangers lurking behind the smiling faces of both current an suggested friends. I see time wasted day after day in narcissistic pursuits. Facebook, for me personally, is quicksand where morals and time could equally disappear without a moments notice. This blog (which could just as easily become narcissistic in it's pursuits) is an opportunity to get into the habit of writing. I am not much of a writer, but I read voraciously and it seems logical that writing is the next step. I feel that writing is an essential part of my aspirations of being a teacher. So, here we go. This is the beginning to what I hope will be a rich and rewarding experience for both the reader and me as the author.