Five years ago my list says I was reading The Hook by Donald E. Westlake. Not many writers have resume as accomplished as his. Melville's Moby Dick, which I never read in high school, was also there. Ten years ago I discovered that John Sayles wrote novels, not just screenplays. Los Gusanos was an engrossing read, filled with history, humor, tragedy and hopeless dreams. Norman MacLean's Young Men and Fire was also on the list The 1949 Mann Gulch fire in Montana changed the way smokejumpers and fire crews work today. The book is a poignant look at the individuals involved in the disaster and the combination of factors that led to the deaths of 13 firefighters. Fifteen years ago I finally made it all the way through Naked Lunch and actually 'got it.' I had attempted to read it before, and had found it bewildering. I tackled it again and this time I caught the wave and rode it all the way. It is a unique work--take a trip to the Interzone, you won't regret it. I can hardly match that with a more contrasting work: Gloria Steinem's Revolution from Within is also on my list from 15 years ago. She got her share of criticism for that best-seller. It is an obvious truth that a poor self-image leads to failure--I see it every day in my work. But how do we improve a child's view of himself? Can "self-esteem" be taught? Should it? I can say that it should be nurtured, that ultimately external sources of "self-esteem" are flimsy and don't stick, but how we go about it is as varied as the kids we work with. People aren't crops--you can't "mass-manage" them. What works for one is contraindicated for another.
a.d IV Kal.Iun.
The Giants Are Not A .400 Baseball Team - Mark is off in the desert, staring at the sky. In Miami, the Giants proved themselves incapable of beating the Marlins today, losing 2 of 3 behind Matt Ca...
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