Don't you just love it when an otherwise obscure reference clicks in your mind?

First, one of my favorite non-family blogs, The Occasional CEO, has a post entitled Steampunk in Pictures.  Steampunk, Wikipedia tells me, is a subgenre of science fiction.  Wait—I cut my teeth on science fiction, and I'd never heard of it?  Turns out steampunk came of age during the 1980's and 90's, when our kids were cutting their teeth and I was too busy to keep up with that part of my former life.

But then, just this morning, I learned that my nephews' writing teacher will be leading a class on steampunk.

Then on the way home from church I heard part of A Prairie Home Companion*, which was being broadcast from New York City.  Garrison Keillor, describing the crowds at Times Square, reported that city locals were not there, but rather were at—and here he named several other places, including "the Christmas shops at Bryant Park."  That would have passed by me into obscurity just like all the other places he mentioned, except that last December I had passed by Bryant Park twice a day while doing research at the New York Public Library, and had seen those very shops—along with the portable ice skating rink and other magical sights of the season.

This phenomenon, that the more we know, the more we are aware, the more we learn—and often, the more we like—is a big reason why I believe even very young children should have the opportunity to encounter as many of the good things in this world as possible, from hearing new languages to making pancakes to looking at pictures of great art to any number of other wonderful things.  When it comes to knowledge, from the vital to the trivial, "to everyone who has, more will be given."


* Note to WMFE, our local Public Radio station:  A Prairie Home Companion on the way home from church is interesting, but not even close in value to With Heart and Voice, which had been our pleasure on the trip to church until you dropped it, along with all the classical music that was, in my opinion, the justification for your existence.

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Edit
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Funny! I wrote about this once as the "diaper syndrome." I never saw a diaper commercial in my life until my wife said she was pregnant. . .then I couldn't escape them! Now, it happens all the time, especially with three teenagers in the house swimming in their own culture. One will drop a name and explain and then. . .it/he/she is everywhere! Just one of the many benefits & joys of having kids. (Happy holidays!)

Posted by Eric on Sunday, December 05, 2010 at 5:56 pm

What?! WMFE doesn't play ANY classical music anymore? I feel a part of me has died. Much of my homeschooling years were spent listening to WMFE and when the music stopped for Garrison's Writer's Almanac it let me know it was noon and reveal if I'd been efficient or lazy that morning . . .

Posted by IrishOboe on Monday, December 06, 2010 at 9:32 am

We learned a lot about music from our kids. :) The joys of the season to you, too, Eric.

Technically, WMFE still plays classical music, but they've split the station into two parts, and relegated the classical to 90.7-2, which requires some special sort of radio to pick up. It's rather like suddenly discovering that all your favorite TV shows moved to cable. I can listen online (and so can you, unless it's blocked in Europe), but that doesn't help in the car or around the house. And I don't think they have any of the great local programs anymore, either.

Posted by SursumCorda on Monday, December 06, 2010 at 10:54 am

Can't you hook up your smartphone to the car radio?

Posted by Stephan on Tuesday, December 07, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Maybe, in that as yet unforseeable time when I break down and get a smartphone....

Posted by SursumCorda on Tuesday, December 07, 2010 at 4:52 pm