These past few weeks, the Wind Ensemble that I play flute in has been rehearsing and performing”Walden” in the Winter BandFest Concert. Our director described it as a “very American sounding piece. You can imagine what it is about because of its title, ‘Walden’.” Since I had never read Walden before this class, I had no idea what or who he was referring to. I thought to myself, “Well, this does sound like an American piece…but who in the world is Walden?” When we starting reading “Walden” in our class, I made the connection. While playing and/or listening to the piece, we should’ve been imagining something relating to a very basic, natural, American life. The mystery had been solved! Here is a video of our performance, compliments of YouTube.
I was also pleased that the connection between “Walden” and “Into the Wild” was pointed out in class. I’ve never read the book, but have seen the movie version of “Into the Wild.” Like Dr. Cordell said, the “Into the Wild” story is a perfect example of how ideas can sometimes be misinterpreted. The main character, Christopher McCandless, didn’t understand that Thoreau’s experience in the wild was simply a two year experiment (and a well planned out-experiment). Chris took his writings as how you should live your whole life, which lead to his tragic end. I think that Thoreau intended for his ideas from “Walden” to be contemplated and maybe applied to daily life in society, not for someone else to live the way that he did for two years.
Taking these different references to “Walden” into considerations, it seems like it’s a good book to at least be exposed to. It makes us think about how we live our daily lives, and how we could/should change them. Did anyone else want to go explore nature after reading the first few chapter? I certainly did. I really had the urge to go hiking somewhere.
On another note, I’m still trying to figure out the practicality of Twitter. One of the practical uses that I’ve seen is advertising, whether it be for their own blogs or events that they want to support. Chris Watson recently tweeted about an Adopt-a-book program at The Portico Library. “http://www.theportico.org.uk/Support_us.html
@ThePortico Adopt-a-book and receive a dedicated page in the book!” This seemed like an excellent way to raise funding to preserve books, while also involving the public. This related to one topic that is continuous in our class: sustainability. We think of books as being “hard copies,” but even they are not completely safe from time. They still become degraded with use, and have to be used carefully. This could become a philosophical debate…is anything truly long-lasting and sustainable? Does information from the past need to be sustained for thousands upon thousands of years? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but they are interesting to think about.