This past summer my son Bruce(6) and I read and discussed children’s versions of many ancient religious and philosophical texts, as part of what I called my SLE inspired reading list. As it turns out, my post about reading the Ramayana with children is one of my most popular pages! Apparently there are not many bloggers out there writing about this, so now when you Google “Ramayana for Children” my blog is the tenth listing. However, if you Google “Ramayana for Kids” my blog doesn’t come up at all. A corollary is that if you Google “SLE Stanford” my blog is the tenth link, and for “SLE Reading List” I am number three. How funny is it to think of future SLE freshman pulling up my page including my six year old’s comparison of the Ramayana with “Star Wars”?
One good thing that has come from my blog is that if you Google “Henry Tien Stanford”, my SLE page also comes up. Henry was my student advisor and he died his senior year. He was not actually a SLE alumni, but helped all of us in Paloma dorm. Henry was one of the nicest people I met at Stanford, and if his parents ever read this someday I want them to know that he is not forgotten.
The other search category that will now pull up my blog is “Suzanne Greenberg Stanford”. I find that really funny. Do you mean to tell me that out of all of the wonderful things Suzanne has done in her life professionally, my little blog post describing what a great SLE professor she was, is the ninth page to come up? I am sure that Suzanne has taught hundreds if not thousands of students over the years. Suzanne probably has no idea how much her caring and mentoring has meant to so many people. I still remember being called to her office after I got the first ever “D” in my life. I never got one again. 🙂
But I digress, so let me get back to my point. After analyzing my blog data, I figured Gee, I better let somebody with an official affiliation with SLE know about my kiddie reading list, so they don’t wander across my blog post on the internet, and think “What the heck?” This is how I happened to email Greg Watkins, the assistant director for SLE.
I am so happy I did, because he shared with me the link to his free podcasts called Father Daughter Philosophy Chats. So far our family has only listened to the “Introduction to Aristotle” chat, but if the rest of them are as good as that one, then WOW!!! I have now downloaded them all, so they are ready to go on our next car trip. For those of you who follow a Classical Education model, these podcasts fit in perfectly to the Logic stage or above. I’ll be blogging about all of the chats a bit later, after we have listened to them. I’d love to hear what you think of them too, so please feel free to leave a comment below.
Finally, I think the hardest part of blogging for me is that when I was a SLE student I was taught to revise and edit each piece of my writing at least ten times. I simply cannot do that as blogger and mother of two young children. My blog is more of an ongoing record of ideas about giving children an academic head start in life, than an example of my best writing. If I were to polish every last blog post to my own standard of perfection I would not be able to share anything. So, my new mantra has to be: That’s good enough. Hopefully it is.