Apr 2: Whoo-hoo! Teacher screws up!

So I'm partway through today's reading of Darwin when I come upon this paragraph:

Those alone who have tried it, know how delicious it is to be seated in such shade, and drink the cool pleasant fluid of the cocoa-nut. In this island there is a large bay-like space, composed of the finest white sand...
And I thought, "Haven't I read this before?" Indeed I have -- a little more than two weeks ago. And I tell you, I felt like my kids did when I took them to school the day the heating broke and they sent everyone home. Even though I like Darwin, I like my days off too.

I am, however, beginning to suspect laziness back in 1909 about making up these assignments. It's almost as though they never expected anyone to take them seriously. Of course, they drank more at lunch back then also, so maybe that's the reason.

The reading prior to that has two interesting elements. First is the business with the spoon that the DRG was so excited about:
A large wooden spoon dressed in garments, and which had been carried to the grave of a dead man, they pretend becomes inspired at the full of the moon, and will dance and jump about. After the proper preparations, the spoon, held by two women, became convulsed, and danced in good time to the song of the surrounding children and women.
"It was a most foolish spectacle," as Darwin writes. Darwin was smart, but he didn't quite see the power of the household object.


The other passage that caught my eye is how Darwin, who speculates on why a particular coral might have died, and how a stone might have drifted to otherwise stoneless islands (in the roots of a dead tree), finds himself baffled by one thing:
I can hardly explain the reason, but there is to my mind much grandeur in the view of the outer shores of these lagoon-islands.
Doesn't that seem a little robotic, a little "What is...friend?" to you? Why wouldn't there be grandeur in seeing these small islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? It's also possible that Darwin, who's so used to seeing things at the micro level, is a little baffled by the big emotion. Such as one might feel when his reading is cut in half! So long, suckas.

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