Saturday, October 07, 2006

Breathing a big sigh of relief.

Ever since I knew I was going to be speaking at the Polish homeschooler's conference, and knew that it directly preceded a Ladies' Tea in my home, during which I had to give a devotional in Polish, I have been carrying too much in my head. Those two things, combined with starting up regular homeschooling after a summer break (not a "new school year" for us yet, though--we start in January ) have eaten up all my energy and attention. Those who notice such things may have noticed that I did not put up a "books read in September" post. I did read in September, but with a single exception, all I did was make a little--far too little--progress on the books I have been working on for months.

With those speaking events behind me, I can catch my breath, dust off the "in progress" pile and maybe even cast an eye on the "to be read" shelf with the hope of starting one or two of those this month.

Before I start anything new, I must finish War and Peace. I picked it up this week and found that picking up the thread around the Battle of Borodino was not easy. Also, when I read it the first time, I couldn't remember if Napoleon ever actually did attack Moscow. I've since learned that he did, and now I'm dreading reading what will happen. I still have 500 pages left in this 1400+ page tome, and I would like to have it completed at long last.

Without actually setting a goal for when it must be finished, I would like to be more consistent with my Polish book, W Pustyni i w puszczy by Sienkiewicz. Every time I open my mouth to speak Polish, my ungrammatical language causes me grief, and I keep hoping that reading will allow me to absorb and internalize the structure of Polish sentences so I don't have to think so hard about what I want to say.

I want to continue working through The Literary Discipline by John Erskine. I'm not in a hurry to finish this one, as slower, more thoughtful reading will give me time to absorb what he has to say. I have another book by Erskine, The Delight of Great Books that I'm dying to start, but I can't justify reading both at the same time.

Of course, I'm rereading The Bible and the task of teaching by David I. Smith and John Shortt, also at a nice slow pace so I can contemplate their ideas. That makes just five books I'm currently reading. It may not seem significant to some people, but for me it is odd, as my habit is generally to devour books whole, at sight, and then go prowling about looking for more. I haven't lost the "looking for more" habit, but I do believe this is the first time in my life I've had such an enormous stack of "to be read" books that I haven't had time to read.


At 1:11 PM , Blogger kleczkowscy said...

Maybe you can drop me an e-mail at ?

We are a Polish Christian home-schooling family of 7, living in England. But I am from Krakow and your posts certainly bring back memories of my home town (where we still own a house).

In fact, I was in Krakow in mid-September, guiding a group of Mennonites from a Hope Singers choir.

More about us on

At 12:38 PM , Blogger Lady Liberty said...

I am a devourer of books, also. Right now I only have children books on my "to be read" pile. The only time I had a large pile was when I worked at a bookstore. So little time, so many books.

At 1:38 PM , Blogger Matthew Mize said...

Hello American-living-in-Krakow, I am American-living-in-Warsaw! Nice to meet you! Hehe...

I'm here in Warsaw, teaching English for the year, and I found your blog when I was searching the internet for a way to get Mexican food in Poland! Haha, I read your entry about the brussel sprout enchiladas! Wow...not encouraging. Have you ever been to "Green Way?" It's a vegetarian restaurant chain here in Poland. They have enchiladas there too. They don't taste very Mexican either, but they are still quite tasty! They have mushrooms and lentels inside (very Polish, right, haha).

Anyway, it's nice to read about another American in Poland. I've only been here for a month and a half, but I'm adjusting.

Well, have a nice day!

- Matthew


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