John at CatholicPackerFan interviewed me for the "Five Question Interview" meme. (Lots of memes circulating these days.)
1. You are a Hoosier blogger, what is your favorite Indiana landmark or place? Why?
Landmark: probably the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial in downtown Indianapolis.
Place: I really enjoy visiting downtown Nashville, particularly in the fall.
2. Respond to the age old historical agrument: 'Does the time in history make or break the person/leader, or does the person/leader make or break the times in history?'
Some people are very good at handling crisis and would be good leaders in any situation. Franklin Roosevelt is an easy example of this.
Other people learn when the times or the crisis are thrust upon them; I think these folks often have terrific support from their families in making this transition. Though I don't agree with all that he has done, I think the current president is an excellent example of someone who, when presented with a crisis, has learned to consult with others to cope with the times; had he been president in another era, say the mess of the 1850s, I don't know if he would have dealt as well.
The 1840s and 1850s were not easy times to be president.
3. You enjoy an interest in history, what are your 5 favorite historical books or texts?
You asked for "favorite" rather than best, so here they are:
A MidWife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based Upon Her Diary, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich - so you think the lives of ordinary people boring? Think again!
Masquerade: The Life and Times of Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier by Alfred Young - an extraordinary woman in her own right, made mroe so by the time in which she lived
Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball - Ball is from a Southern family, and traces his ancestors back to plantation days. he then traces slave families owned by his and determines that at least some of them are cousins of his.
Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris - it's massive and thick, but well written and loads of fun
Nerd alert! Notable American Women eds. James, James and Boyer - this is a four volume collection of short biographies of, as the title suggests, interesting American women. Some of them are women you've heard of, some are relatively obscure. This is great reading in the same way that an encyclopedia can be great reading; you start by looking up on item and end up reading about a dozen others. I'm also partial to this set because it's very much of its time. The first three volumes drew upon lists composed in the 1960s when our ideas and ideals about women were shifting, and the choices and writing reflect these shifts. Probably some people find this annoying, but the obvious shifts throughout endear the books to me that much more.
4. What are your 5 favorite novels or fictional works?
I reread Pride and Prejudice at least twice a year, so I suppose that makes it my favorite novel. Each time I take away something new.
I don't really have favorite books so much as favorite authors. I'm very fond of the Narnia books and the Harry Potter series. They're adventure stories, with plenty to teach me about bravery in the face of adversity and the many different kinds of love. Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael mysteries are terrific, as are the works of Robertson Davies. I first had to read his Fifth Business for high school English and liked it so much that I read the rest of the trilogy right away.
5. You are a dog owner, how did you come to own your dog?
Sam is a shelter adoptee and thus a recycled dog. When I walked into the "dog area" there were twenty or thirty dogs, all of them barking and yapping with excitement. Sam simply stood there, looking at me carefully. When I walked up to his pen, Sam wagged his tail and looked happy to see me, but still didn't jump or cause a commotion. I think I adopted him and he me in that moment, before we'd even taken a walk together.
All right, there's mine. We need to complete the Indiana bloggers cycle on this one. Greg and "Rob this means you. Contact Hugh or me for questions - not John, he's already had his turn. Any and all other takers welcome!
Words Written: working as fast as I can
Lessons Graded: five
Books on Floor: three