February 28, 2013


I have big questions. They'll not be answered in my lifetime, but I keep asking. Why am I here? What is my purpose? What gives my life meaning? What is the right thing to do?

It's my opinion that all people in all walks of life ask these questions. In fact, children ask these questions. I've been reading the following books to help me help children ask questions--usually in response to literature--and seek kernels of truth.

Image from The Philosophy Foundation

Philosophy for Kids by David White
Image from Barnes & Noble

A great place for ANYONE to start:

Image from TitlePeek

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
― Albert Einstein

February 5, 2013

Lady Liberty

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
~"New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus

Photo by Liberty Library Lady

Oh, how I loved Emma Lazarus' poem and the Statue of Liberty. (Still do!) My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Nighsonger, must have impressed upon us the peril Lady Liberty faced after a century in New York's harbor. She must have explained well what the statue meant to thousands of immigrants arriving to America. Mrs. Nighsonger must have inspired us well--I still appreciate the symbol of freedom for which Lady Liberty stands.

As a class, we saved pennies to send for the statue's restoration. Just like schoolchildren a century before us, we contributed to Lady Liberty's existence in New York's Harbor. The photo above is a picture of the penny bank Mrs. Nighsonger gave to me 30 years ago. (Thanks, Mrs. Nighsonger. Your teaching changed my life.)

Liberty's Voice by Erica Silverman
Image from TitlePeek
The story of privileged Emma Lazaras, who grew up to advocate for the poor and oppressed.

Building Liberty: A Statue is Born by Serge Hochain
Image from TitlePeek
The building of Lady Liberty is chronicled in this book, which follows the part four fictional craftsmen take in her creation.

Looking at Liberty by Harvey Stevenson
Image from TitlePeek
Recounts the creation of the Statue of Liberty from inspiration to installation in New York's Harbor.

Liberty! by Allan Drummond
Image from TitlePeek
From the perspective of the young boy selected to signal sculptor Bartholdi, this book tells about the 1886 dedication of the Statue of Liberty.