Wednesday, September 06, 2006

noble pursuits

"And the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea; and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Now these were more noble-minded than those of Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so."
( Acts 17:10-11)

These words, and the following excerpt from the autobiography of Frederick Douglass, humble and inspire me:

"...Very soon after I went to live with Mr. and Mrs. Auld, she began to teach me the A, B, C. After I had learning this, she assisited me in learning to spell words of three or four letters. Just at this point of my progress, Mr. Auld found out what was going on, and at once forbade Mrs. Auld to instruct me further, telling her, among other things, that it was unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read.
...Though conscious of the difficulty of learning without a teacher, I set out with high hope, and a fixed purpose, at whatever cost of trouble, to learn how to read.
...The plan which I adopted, and the one by which I was most successful, was that of making friends of all the little white boys whom I met in the street. As many of these as I could, I converted to teachers....When I was sent on errands, I always took my book with me, and by doing one part of my errand quickly, I found time to get a lesson before my return. I used to carry bread with me, enough of which was always in the house, and to which I was always welcome; for I was much better off in this regard than many of the poor white children in the neighborhood. This bread I used to bestow upon the hungry little urchins, who, in return, would give me that more valuable bread of knowlege...."

The valuable bread of knowlege is being offered up this week in schools all over the Land of the Free and the Brave, and this school-marm's heart is looking to whip up some hunger around these here parts. Our own beloved Alma Mater, The Hull Homeschool Academy, started cracking the books on Labor Day. (Most appropriate, I say.) We begin the academic year with a look at the Underground Railroad and its connections, if any, to our own 1830 brick farmhouse. Inspired by the Smithsonian's brilliant exhibit, "Within These Walls...", and bolstered by interviews, visits to the County Courthouse, and some helpful websites, we "set out with high hope, and a fixed purpose, at whatever the cost of trouble" to do some hands-on learning.

My daily prayer is that all this learning becomes a lifelong thirst for knowledge. The goal is not the facts and figures themselves, or even the slaking of the thirst, but rather a God-steered pursuit that shapes us for life.

Call us fanatical, if you must. But we prefer "noble-minded".


Blogger Darlene Sinclair said...

The house on Chamberlin Corners near Chase Mills was part of the Underground Railroad. An older gentleman here in Madrid hosted us as we toured the home (he is the neighbor...) If it's of interest I could try to contact him for another peek at local history. Jamie must have been about 8 when we did the last one, so my crew could definitely benefit.

7:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home