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Saturday
Nov012008

Institute finished

Survivors of the two-day NESA Librarians Institure, Amman, Jordan, Oct 31-Nov1.

 

I am sort of sad to have my work with the NESA librarians done. This was a wonderful, thoughtful and very interesting group with which to work. As always, I wonder who learned more - them or me. Thanks to any who may be reading this.

Where does the man who sells the authentic Arabian coffee in the hotel lobby go on break?

Why the Starbucks just down the hall, of course. (I am not making this up.)

How to make your travel pictures more interesting:

 

Thursday
Oct302008

Daniel Pink and the ancients

Daniel Pink's "right brain skills" from A Whole New Mind are offered up as critical to success in the 21st Century. I couldn't agree more.

But I find it interesting that these aren't exactly revolutionary new human attributes and abilities, as I've been thinking about touring Jordan...

DESIGN


Wall carving in the 7th century castle of Adjun in northern Jordan.


STORY


Petroglyphs, Wadi Rum, southern Jordan.


SYMPHONY


Tomb carved into rock, Petra.


EMPATHY


Roman theater, Amman. (We are meant to empathize with characters from plays, yes?)


PLAY


Roman hippodrome (race track), Jerash.


MEANING


Temple of Aphrodite, Jerash.

Have these skills not been vital to successful people of all ages in successful civilizations? Perhaps it was just something we'd lost sight of in the Industrial Age?

Oh, I overheard a tour guide arguing some bit of historic speculation with a British tourist at one of the sites. She said she was offend by his premise. His defense:

But I heard this on the Discovery Channel!

 

Small, and shrinking world. I want to see it before there are McDonalds, Starbucks and KFCs on every corner of every country and tour guides learn all they know from cable television.

Sigh...

Thursday
Oct302008

Ancient History

I hope the old Romans
Had painful abdomens.

I hope that the Greeks
Had toothaches for weeks.

I hope that the Egyptians
Had chronic conniptions.

I hope that the Arabs
Were bitten by scarabs.

I hope that the Vandals
Had thorns in their sandals.

I hope that the Persians
Had gout in all versions.

I hope that the Medes
Were kicked by their steeds.

They started the fuss
And left it to us!

Arthur Guiterman, 1871-1943

Jerash, largest ancient Roman city outside Rome. Jordan, October 2008

 

Now why did this old poem come back to me today? Teachers, have faith. Some learning just has to have a little time to sink in...