Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thomas the Train meets the First Punic War

I've been plowing through this week's readings for my military history class. Way behind, probably not going to get all of it done in time. Military formations, deployment of battle units? Not really page-turner material. I did, however, come across an interesting line. 

Recognize this dude? 




It's Sir Topham Hatt from Thomas the Train. He's constantly getting cross at Thomas ("Sir Topham Hatt was cross [again]") and bemoaning any sort of confusion and delay. He totally stole that line out of the textbook I'm reading:

"The arrangement [of the Roman fleet during the Battle of Ecmonus] was probably not only to aid the transports on their way ... and so avoid confusion and delay." (I have no idea what textbook this is from, all of our readings are provided online).

I would comment on how I'm obviously bored reading this material-which I am, in some ways-but the truth is that I'm always seeing stuff that relates to pop culture. We read a science fiction short story that spoke of the robots that had taken over the world as operating in a unit with no individual will. I totally had a Borg, you will be assimilated moment. Take a class with me and you will never get bored:)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Deprived. Oh, was I deprived!

I love reading. You could call me a voracious reader. Not just of fiction, either; I'll throw in history or serious literature too for good measure. In fact, I clearly remember getting myself into trouble when I was 10? 11? and my mom grounded me from books (I totally deserved it, although I don't remember what I did). The discipline worked-I was absolutely devastated-but I also remember that being the moment when I decided it wasn't good to let other people know, including family members, what you love because they could hurt you with it. Heavy, from a 10 year old. Or at least I think so.

Anyway, nowadays it seems I can't go an entire month away from the books. I saw this book:


And I had to have it. Victoria Holt was one of my first forays into historical fiction, although her stuff is more romance than history. Clean romance, in case you're wondering. She'll tell you that the heroine got herself abducted and that she's at the mercy of the dark, powerful and cruel lord and that he's taken advantage of her but she won't go into any further details (I believe that plot line was in "The Demon Lover"). For a girl of 12, though, it was probably inappropriate. I'm not sure how I smuggled stuff past my mom. Still kind of scared to ask her.

"Mistress of Mellyn" wasn't the only book I read. I got through two more by Sunday evening. It was absolutely wonderful. I adore slavish weekends of reading. It wasn't all fun and games, though. I also had to read this:


Some pretty weird stuff in there. Interesting, but weird. It's for my SF class. I love having a textbook that looks like this. Today the discussion starts on some of the readings in here. Can't wait.

While I enjoy reading all day my kids do not enjoy those days. We had to take a break to do this:




They're getting pretty good. AND they're very conscious of road safety:)