If you had asked me a few years ago if I would have ever taught a book by Ayn Rand, I probably would have laughed heartily at you. And then I would have given you several reasons about why I wouldn’t have even entertained the idea. Today, however, I began the pre-work and front-loading for the book Anthem. We will be entering our essays, which we will write after reading the story, into a contest sponsored by the The Ayn Rand Institute. We are beginning the whole Ayn Rand process with the students giving group speeches about six different topics: socialism, Soviet Russia, Prometheus, Gaia, dystopia, and Rand. The students seemed to be really excited about this project, and I framed it by saying I hadn’t read the book yet, but that her beliefs might challenge me a little. I think they liked the fact that I am having them read something that I potentially won’t agree with and will be frustrated with. Ah, middle schoolers!
I swam this morning for the first time in ages. It was a sprint day. Whenever I do sprints (running or swimming), I recognize how out of shape I am. I felt like I was sucking air through a coffee stirrer while trying to wrestle a Leviathan. I hope the sprinting gets easier each week. Wow.
Dave Pace, Merideth’s dad died on Thursday night. His funeral is Wednesday, and the viewing is tomorrow. Her family has asked me to perform the ceremony/service, and I agreed. I just hope I can keep it together and not make a blubbering fool of myself. He is one of the greatest men I have ever known, and I will truly miss him. I only hope I can honor his memory with my words.