E is for Erasmus, Education and Einstein

Welcome to A to Z! We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors. If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here. Today’s Blog is brought to you by the Letter “E” I think Erasmus and I would have gotten along swimmingly. In fact, my husband, Mr. Himself, says (and he’s right): “If I give Karla $10 to spend on anything at all, she’ll buy a book.” He’s mystified by this phenomenon because he’s not a reader. He wasn’t taught to read phonetically and he also has ADD and dyslexia. These issues have hampered his reading ability his entire life. That’s not to say he isn’t intelligent. Trust me, he’s brilliant. But his inability to decode words is one of the reasons I’m passionate about literacy and learning. I think it’s a crime for someone to get an education and graduate without being taught properly how to read. Mr. Himself has a bachelor’s degree. And it was hard-earned. He had to work at least twice as hard as someone else to get that piece of paper, all because schools in his day taught English reading as if it were Chinese. Ironically, in Erasmus’s day, very few books were available to people of my economic demographic. Only the very wealthy could afford books and only the very elite of society were able to read. This is how people were kept under the government’s thumb for so long. It’s one reason the Middle Ages is called The Dark Ages. And it’s also the reason Erasmus had very little money left for clothes and food (although, he does look nicely dressed in the picture below, don’t you think?). I can’t imagine not reading books. Reading has gotten me through many painful periods of my life. It allowed me to escape as a child into worlds I’d never otherwise go. Some of my fondest memories are summers of endless reading, especially at my grandmother’s. She would take me to a local church “basement sale” where I’d paw through boxes of books and pick out a few to take home. It’s where I found my first copy of The Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter. Once I learned to read, I don’t think there’s been a single day when I didn’t read something from a book. Books comfort me. I surround myself with them. E is also for Education and...

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My kindle does the work of 400 camels

It is said that a Persian Grand Vizier named Abdul Nassam Ismael took his entire 117,000 volume library with him everywhere he went on the backs of 400 camels. And get this–this is the best part–he trained the camels to carry the books in alphabetical order. Can you believe it? Makes me thankful for my kindle. I can’t imagine having that many books or that many camels! Imagine how much it cost to provide food and shelter not only for the camels but the camel handlers, too. Now that’s what I call an investment in knowledge. I used to have a thousand books (I’ve never owned a camel but I’m certainly open to the idea) and I gave about half of those away. 117,000 books would fill several large rooms from floor to ceiling. Clearly, this was a man of importance and wealth. Books were a lot more expensive in those days than they are now. I just ordered about seven cookbooks for free last night via my Kindle unlimited plan. Information is so much more available now it’s almost scary. One thing’s for certain. There are a lot of camels happy about the invention of the Kindle. Oh, and hump day, of course. Don’t forget to enter the contest to win a $25 Gift Card! Contest ends Monday! Tweet this: How do you tote your books ? Camel, Kindle or something else?       Leave me a comment and let me know how you transport your books! For me it’s a Kindle and books on CD in a pink tote bag!  ...

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Erica’s Edition: Vikings!

Today’s blog post is brought to you by my hard-working intern, Erica Graphman! Take it away, Erica! I’ve always been a huge fan of history—I actually considered majoring in it until my dad pointed out that I wouldn’t be able to make a good career out of it unless I became a teacher (not really my cup of tea). I love reading about history and especially love learning about different myths that famous cultures believed in. So, in my excitement for the return of The History Channel’s Vikings, I did a little research on the beliefs of the famous group. (I have a feeling that this season is going to involve a lot of mythology!) The Norse and other Germanic tribes who followed the same beliefs in multiple gods called their practicing a tradition. They believed Odin, Thor, Freya, and Loki were the high gods, known as Aesir. Odin, Thor, and Frigg each have a day of the week named after them (I learned about this in my Structure of the English Language class) Woden’s day, Thor’s day, and Freya’s day (scholars debate whether Frigg and Freya are the same goddess, most think it’s likely because they share the same characteristics). These names eventually evolved to become Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Odin is the king of Asgard and he sacrificed his eye to gain knowledge. Thor is his son and the god of the sky. He can control wind, lightning, and thunder. As noted before, Frigg is Odin’s wife, and she is the goddess of love and the heavens. Women often prayed to her during childbirth. Another common Norse god is Loki, the god of mischief, who is so handsomely represented by Tom Hiddleston in Marvel’s Thor. The Vikings believed in four different realms. The gods dwell in the realm of Asgard while humans remain in Midgard. There are two places Viking warriors can go when they die. If it is a worthy death, aka bravely in battle, they pass on to Valhalla where they feast while waiting for the end of time. If they do not die a heroic death, they must remain in Hel, which the Vikings considered the ninth world. After reading all this crazy information about the Viking gods, I must say, I’m super excited to see this season of Vikings, especially to see which warriors take their places in Valhalla and which fall to Hel. (I’m rooting for strong, female warrior Lagertha to kick butt!) Tweet this: Who’s your favorite...

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