Tag Archives: Jack London

Snow, Shovel, Cold…Repeat

The weather has been fairly crappy in Kansas for this year 2011.  While shoveling out of the latest the other day, I felt that awesome feeling of ice formation in my beard.  Honestly, that is just a kick butt feeling even though it means it is butt cold outside.  When the ice crystal form on the beard, it always takes me away to one of my favorite stories, Jack London’s To Build a Fire.  I apologize for the re-run of the very first Rest Day Read, but I just had to do it to celebrate the cold.

Rest Day Read

Short Read #1 (SR-1)
Jack London’s To Build a Fire

Great winter tale on man’s struggle versus nature. This story almost always pops into my head whenever we get a good deep snow to shovel or a real cold snap. Probably one of the stories that really lit the spark on me becoming a reader.

I am sure I had some sort of learning disability as a kid. Probably still do (especially if you ask my people for their opinion). Today, I would probably be in several federally mandated sp. ed programs, but in bygone years at the CTK* they usually would send you down to a learning center, a.k.a storage room, to work with a volunteer doing some special lessons. Once, in 6th grade, I went down to the reading help session and was given a mimeographed copy of To Build a Fire. I sat down at a folding table placed between walls of textbooks boxes and ran my finger and eyes over the first line “Day had broken cold and grey, exceedingly cold and grey…”. Everything in the room disappeared. I found myself in the Yukon looking over the shoulder of the “new-comer” in his struggle for survival. I was transformed, the locked door to books kicked open, snapped from its hinges. Life would never be the same again.

* Christ The King Catholic School, Kansas City KS. The 1970’s LMC socio-economic landscape of the CTK forced the administrators, teachers and parents to develop a highly innovative, creative school environment. Looking back, it was a school way ahead of its time.

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