Monday, February 6, 2012

Thanks, Inga

Inga's assignment for us week before last was to go to the library, pick a section of books on a topic we're not interested in, turn around a few times and run up and down the aisle(s) a few times then randomly pick a book. Read it. Write and submit a book report.

I did.

I struggled to come up with a topic I had no interest in. Really. A few things came to mind but then I wandered into reasons I was a little excited or curious to read something about the thing (guns, hunting, football, and more). Like for my interpreting work - especially video relay where the content can be anything and everything and it is. And the topic of guns has come up a few times in personal situations, so, while I'm not interested personally, they appear as a topic in my work and a couple times in my stories and then these other situations. So guns was off the list. Same for hunting. I don't care. Have never hunted and never will. For those who hunt to feed themselves and their family, friends - I get it. I'm not criticizing - it's just not my thing.

Then I found something I really don't  care about and haven't yet encountered in my work: ship building. It started out as "nautical" - but that includes kayaking, which I like (haven't done in a while, but want to return to the water -  maybe this coming spring or summer), and things like Kon Tiki, which I enjoyed when I was a teen (I was considering going into marine biology). But when I saw ship building and maintenance - that was it.

I wanted to challenge myself on this assignment. Pick something I really wouldn't read about at all without the assignment.
picture from Maritime Quest: 1907 replicas

So I did. And the book I selected was about reconstructing the Santa Maria, Nina, Pinta - yes. Christopher Columbus' ships. And it talked about the journey and there were to scale instructions for replicas which were built for the 400th anniversary of "the discovery" and the 500th anniversary of "the discovery" and another set. I read it. Introduction and preface and everything and I looked at the drawings. And I wrote my book report and even managed to wonder about a couple of things from reading (like - what was their life like on those ships, on the ocean, in that hull - no wonder they became concerned and wanted to go back). And I learned a few things and was in awe of how those boats could make the voyage. Even with the controversy about "discovery" and what came after.

An added bonus was that I discovered that my library card had been deactivated. Not because I don't support libraries and I don't love books. No. Because it had been so long since I'd checked out a book that it was deactivated. See, I've discovered that it's actually cheaper for me to buy my books rather than get them from the library and then pay fines. Sometimes that is really, actually, true. But now I have an active library card again and there are other things I can do at the library since I have a stack (or two) of not yet read books at home.

Thank you, Inga. And for the raspberry truffle bar prize.