Sunday, May 2, 2010

I haven't yet found anything I couldn't do

Dad does a bit of bragging in this letter and postcard. The family has mumps. I'm not sure of all the illnesses they have during these three years but it seems like quite a bit. I think Dad had this ability to quickly learn new jobs. My sister Bonnie has had the same talent and got a position once not because she was the most qualified but the one they thought could learn jobs the quickest. I think that approach to learning is one that is not appreciated as much now, we expect everyone to have credentials and be trained in a specific job, instead of letting someone figure it out.
Our semester is about finished and in one of the math classes I teach I took more of a let them figure it out approach and was impressed by the students abilities to solve problems and how their methods worked and were often different from my approach.
It is amazing for me to read about his thinking of going to China, when he never left the US, except for some short trips to Canada. They also considered going to Costa Rica in the 1950s when the Quaker community in Monteverde was starting up. Quakers were discouraged by the nuclear arms build up and also the McCarthyism and blacklisting of people and friends of theirs moved to places like New Zealand and Costa Rica. My parents bought land west of Denver with a couple of other families and planned on having a kind of co-housing unit there. During the 50s, my sisters and I also remember hearing a tall skinny guy playing the banjo in a church basement and all us kids sitting round listening to him sing 'froggy went a courting' and other songs. That was Pete Seeger who was blacklisted at the time. I just googled 'Pete Seeger' and found wonderful clips on youtube. Not skilled enough to put the link in here.

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