It has been a very busy few days.
"The Teenager" has been attending summer school. She loves people. She loves to talk. These activities occupied her time during the school year. The result is that she was offered the opportunity to attend those same courses, ignored for the sake of social interaction, in hopes of actually passing them this time. That is exactly what she did, she passed the two repeated courses. July has been a suspenseful month. Would she or would she not attend to the business of learning?
I was grateful to the English teacher for writing:
"Your final mark was a 62%, 30% lower than your exam! Your exam is a better reflection of what your are capable of - very high marks! - and tells me that you have a lot of "English potential". Keep up your personal poetry writing... You can do it if you try!!!"
The problem is that social interaction is far more interesting to "The Teenager" than is learning. Passing is good.
My obsessive interest in genealogy has been well wetted over the last week.
When one branch of my ancestors arrived in Canada to take land grants and till the soil, they settled in a small town in Ontario. A relative of mine who still lives in that community published a book on the history of that small town and its founders. I am slowly working through the book, adding individuals to my database as I find them. It is hard work and fascinating.
For example, an individual may be mentioned in four different places in the book. Each mention might include a different piece of information such as their birth date or the name of their spouse, parent, sibling, or child. I have discovered, through laborious and meticulous entry of all individuals into the database, that over 2000 of the approximately 3000 individuals identified, are related to me by blood or marriage.
I have discovered other related researchers who have done a tremendous amount of work. They have posted their work at the Church of Latter Day Saints site. I can now trace both the maternal and paternal lines back to their origins in the British Isle and Europe. I am quite busy moving all of this information into my genealogy software.
When I have worked my way through much of this information, I will identify the places and times of my ancestor's lives. My goal is to create a timeline of the pertinent local and global historical events and their coincidence with my family history. All this may or may not end up in book form. It will definitely be converted to a web site and recorded on a CD.
As a result of spending my time with ghosts, my life span seems of smaller immediate significance and yet infinitely important in the passage of human existence. I think that the whole exercise of my research into the family history is to affirm my childhood assumption of my place in the universe. Yes, my life is significant just because it exists.
As I explore the people of my genetic past, I find that what interests me most is who and what they loved, and how they lived with one another and in their communities. I find myself feeling personal pride. Not in those who achieved wealth and/or status, but in those who were aware of the state of the human condition and acted out of concern and compassion. There are several men and women in the family histories that have gained my admiration and respect.
I regard those who achieved wealth and/or status as having been, at best, benign actors on the stage of life. At worst, they were active participants in the perpetration of the ills of society.
Most of the marks left by history are scars.
|RECIPES :: Cast
By the Easy Chair
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
The voices of summer in "The Neighborhood".
From The Long Dark Tea time of The Soul by Douglas Adams
"He was cross because of what he had been reading in the newspapers, which was that another god had been cutting loose and making a nuisance of himself. It didn't say that in the papers, of course. It didn't say, "God cuts loose, makes nuisance of himself in airport." It merely described the resulting devastation and was at a a loss to draw any meaningful conculsions from it."
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