Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Parenthood, Points, and Pakistanis

Wifey is planning on submitting to her latest obsession. Well, actually it isn't her latest, but it is just coming back on again. She loves that Parenthood show. I have seen one or two episodes, but I never caught the bug. While Munchkin is falling asleep, I am left to my own devices. As you might have guessed, I came to writing.

One thing that I have recently become obsessed with--Google Stats. I can take a sneaky peek at where you are coming from. So far, I have had visitors from the US (and I probably know who you are. There might be a few who surprise me who don't know me, but I doubt it), our friendly northern neighbor, Canada, China, Denmark, the UK, and Russia. Whoever you are, I'm glad you came, even though many of you didn't return. I like knowing where people find me. Feel free to drop me a line saying hi. And to return.

I think one of the best things about it is that it gives me points.This appeals to my deep down urge of being male. This is why young men will spend hours on end trying to get a high score. This is why there are hot dog eating contests.This is why there are Olympic world records. Guys like points, and if you have more points than another guy, then you must be better at it. Since I am new to the game, I am glad that I don't have access to other people's Stats pages. Maybe after I have been at this a while I might be more inclined to look at another's Stats page, but for now, I'm content.

Lately I have picked up Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. Dad is big into education (as he was a professor at Boise State University) and happened to pick up this book after he had retired because all the staff on campus was supposed to read it. He liked it, then got my mom to read it, and then told me I should read it too. I didn't take him up on it right away, and frankly ended up forgetting about it.

As I like books, I ended up having a co-worker recommend this book to me. The light went back on in my head, remembering that Dad had the book collecting dust on his shelf, so I finally pilfered it from its position when Munchkin was trying to pull books from the bookshelf when we were there about a week ago. I started the read without high hopes, as Dad and I don't generally share our tastes in books. The first few chapters have some pretty awkward passages in them, and I found myself having to read sentences over again so that I could figure out what the author was trying to say. The story of the Greg Mortenson won me over though, and so I am going to finish it.

This man's life is quite amazing to me. After almost dying and becoming lost in the Himalayas, this Mortenson is nursed back to health by a village elder who makes an indelible impression on Mortenson. He ends up promising to build a school for the village, as they don't even have a full time teacher for their kids. Mortenson has made it his mission to build schools for kids and help them to learn, and went through quite a bit to realize this mission. I'm about a third of the way through the book, and am looking forward to making my way through the rest.

This book does a nice job of making people from across the world seem like people. Even though they live above 16,000 feet in the air and eat what they can catch or hunt, they are very happy. It makes me want to spend time in a foreign place to try to assimilate myself into a culture and learn its language. It would also be fun to talk to a Muslim about his beliefs now that I know a bit more about the people from this book.

If you are interested in the book from my weak pitch and want to help fund education through buying this book, then buy a new copy. Mortenson donates a portion of the proceeds from each book to go to his non-profit organization that builds schools. You can buy it through any of the normal retailers (like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Borders, or Hastings), or stop by a local bookshop and pick it up as well. I will probably return it to my father and pick up my own copy so that I can do my minuscule part of buying some pencils or paying a teacher's salary for a bit.

No comments: