October is finally here and this Columbus Day Weekend has been fabulous! With October come all the wonderful colors of autumn and, of course, the crisp chill of shortening New England days. I, for one, welcome the cooler air, though I do lament losing the wonderful sunshine to our more typical cloud cover around these parts. That is the thing in life, there always seems to be a trade off.
There are many celebrations worth noting in October. October 2nd was the birthday of Mohandas Gandhi. International World Teachers’ Day is October 5th. October 9th is Leif Erikson Day and the second Monday is Columbus Day; each claiming European discovery of the Americas. October 12th is a new-found favorite of mine, Freethought Day which marks the end of the Salem Witch Trials. October 16th is World Food Day, sponsored by the United Nations which has its own celebration on October 24th (it was first organized in 1947, in case you forgot). Then, of course there’s All Hallows Eve or Halloween as we know it on the last day of October. Dress up and collect candy, not a bad interpretation of what started out as a pretty scary festival.
This Columbus Day weekend, I recommend you read one of my favorite essays, Barry Lopez’s “The Rediscovery North America”. It seems to me, to be pertinent to the present state of affairs, considering the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that have crept up over the past several weeks. How we measure wealth, status, well-being, abundance, and our relationship to the earth itself are all considered by Lopez.
On a different matter, we’ve started getting some of our orders. Many thanks to The Library Video Company who delivered our order in about a week’s time. Among the twenty six new DVDs we’ve added, a handful of titles that look really interesting to me are:
- College, Inc.: This hour long program takes a look at the current state of higher education in the United States. Produced in 2010, the program focuses on the for-profit and online sector’s rise and influence.
- Growing Up Online: Google just turned 13 years old. That means that every freshman we meet thinks it’s always been around. My own eleven year old son has ventured into virtual vistas I’ve never visited (that’s alliteration, folks). Another Frontline program, but I stand by my curiosity.
- America, The Story of Us: This 3 disc offering from the History Channel will hopefully not include any conspiracy theories or UFOs in the telling of how we came to be who we are. It seems to me that the more we learn about all the people who populated the past, the less certain we sometimes become about who we really are. This is the History Channel’s nine hour attempt to talk about the man in the mirror. (Good luck, ese).
- Killer at Large: It seems like every year the news gets worse about our weight. Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me” was just the first of many documentaries and reports that have chronicled our nation’s ever growing waistline.
- Human Footprint: Anyone who has ever been responsible for taking out the garbage or handling the recycling of the house has stopped and wondered, “how much stuff do we throw out in a lifetime?” It’s staggering when you stop to think about how much material goods you need to get by in an average day. This film is from National Geographic and was released in 2008; it also has online resources intended for classroom discussions.
I want to thank Ms. Hart and Ms. Donnelly for bringing their freshman classes for the LMC orientations. From their behavior, questions and overall general demeanor, I can tell that we have an excellent group of students for the class of 2015. I expect to hear great things from them in the coming months and years.
Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you find something useful.
Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2011. All rights reserved.