I am listening to Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett right now. I tend to love the historical novels because I learn so much about the world’s history as I believe history was meant to be learnt. In stories. The story telling Follett embarks on with this book, and others, is beautiful. His is ability to infuse detail, accuracy and passion into the story is amazing. Sometimes I feel like this is what is missing from the classroom. I wish I could tell more stories about the math I was teaching to bring it to life, or to bring the mathematicians of the past to life.
There is a part of the book where a character named Jack is in Spain living with commune of people who just like to learn for the sake of learning. It seems so romantic that reading Euclid‘s Book on geometry is a revelation and further it helps Jack solve the problems of building a Cathedral. I wish that school and learning was as revered as it used to be when it was such a privilege and not an expectation. Though I know that we are far more educated and informed now than ever before. That said, an idyllic setting of a place where learning was all the reason you need seems very attractive.