Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The wisdom of youth

I'm in a business that relies on new and ever-changing technology, and I learned years ago that if I wanted to know something about a new device, I had to find someone 20 years old or younger to explain it to me.

So, that's why I find websites like Wesleying so valuable.

Here's what I learned today - there's a website which records and distributes for free, recorded works of literature, which are in the public domain. You want to listen to Dickens or Proust, librivox.com is for you.

The one piece of advice I have for students is this. Don't put off your reading because you hope to listen to War and Peace over the weekend. When I was an undergrad, two of my floormates waited until the weekend before finals to "read" four major Shakespearean tragedies. They checked some LP recordings of the plays out of the library, and listened to the plays, intended to be spun at 33 rpm, at 78 rpm. Which means that Iago sounded like Alvin the Chipmunk, and Othello like Alvin's brother Theodore. As I recall, they both flunked the final.

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