Libraries Of The Lehigh Valley, PA

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I began this series several years ago, but I must have forgotten about it.  Now, however, I intend to continue and share the wonderful libraries that exist with this section of Eastern Pennsylvania.

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The Easton Public Library, located in the small city of Easton, PA, is a place that I loved as a youngster. I have been an avid reader since I was a small child, and this wonderful place gave me much solace and pleasure. When I was very small, we went to a branch library on South Side, Easton, and when I hit young teen years, I would walk the couple of miles to go to the library. It was worth every step.

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(georgefattell.blog)

Easton has about 25,000-27,000 people and is located on the banks of both the Delaware and the Lehigh Rivers, and it is the smallest of the cities that make up the majority of the Lehigh Valley, PA. It is in this small urban area that the Easton Public Library sits and serves a wide group of readers.

After many years, I recently visited this library with a friend who was doing research, and I was filled with both nostalgia and joy upon entering. It was hard to believe that I had not been into this place, where I had visited almost weekly for several years. I loved the visit, and while I do not know if You Can’t Go Home Again as suggested in the book by Thomas Wolfe, but I do know that you can return to libraries that you have loved!

I want to thank Sharon Gothard, a wonderful librarian, for her help with these images of the library, including pictures from both the present and the past.

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Thank you for joining me in this journey to a place that was deeply important to me as a young person. I will continue the series soon with another library from this area.

 

 

Education Quotations

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Margaret_Mead_NYWTS

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”

                                                                              Margaret Mead

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(https://pixabay.com)

“The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.”

                                                                              Thomas Paine

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”

                                                                              Plato

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“Education is essential for the improvement of humanity, and it must continue throughout a person’s life. We are never too young nor too old to learn. We must embrace curiosity about the world around us, and we should learn every day of our lives.”

                                                                             Charles F. French

FDR Quotations

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

“Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.”

FAVORITE SCIENCE FICTION FILMS: 5: THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL

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Day_the_Earth_Stood_Still_1951

https://en.wikipedia.org

The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) was a brilliant science-fiction film that set the standards, in many ways, for other following films.  One of the great strengths of the genre of science-fiction as well as horror and fantasy is its ability to comment on direct issues in contemporary society.  In this 20th Century Fox film, the director, Robert Wise uses the arrival of an alien spaceship on earth as a cautionary message about the potential of the human race to cause its own self-destruction through atomic warfare.

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https://en.wikipedia.org

The core plot element is that beings from advanced civilizations on other planets have found people on earth have developed both nuclear weapons and a space program. They have sent an emissary, Klaatu, played by Michael Rennie, to deliver a gift and a warning to the people of Earth.  The gift, a small box, was destroyed by a frightened soldier who thought it was a threat. In reality, it was a device that would have allowed humans to study the universe. With the gift gone, what is left is a warning that if human beings insist on bringing their atomic weapons and violence into space with them, then earth and its inhabitants will be destroyed utterly. This message is a quietly subversive challenge through what was seen as just a movie to the nuclear states of the world.

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http://highlandcoldwar8.wikispaces.com

A staple of science-fiction, both cinema and television is the robot.  This kind of machine will figure into film in many ways from the earliest days to recent film.  The Day The Earth Stood Still has such a machine in Gort, a robot that serves as an aide  to the alien Klaatu.  Earth people view it as a threat, as they do everything alien, which is yet another point to the movie.  Xenophobia and bigotry, unfortunate human capacities, were at the forefront of American society in the late 1940s and 1950s.  If someone was different from the so-called norm, then they were somehow bad and immoral.  This will be the main point of the next movie I will examine in this series: Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

The Day The Earth Stood Still was a critical success and has been named by several film organizations as one of the most important films of American cinema.  If you have not yet seen this movie, and I am NOT talking about the remake, then I recommend it highly.

A Few Quotations On Character

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

                                                                     Maya Angelou

M0015415 Sophocles, from the bust in the Lateran, Rome.

(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”

                                                                          Sophocles

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(https://pixabay.com)

“Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.”

                                                                          Bruce Lee

Quotations About Teaching

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(https://pixabay.com)

“Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.”

                                                                             Aristotle

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

                                                                            Malala Yousafzai

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(https://pixabay.com)

“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”

                                                                            Dalai Lama XIV

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“And gladly would he learn and gladly teach.”

                                                 Geoffrey Chaucer

                                  “General Prologue,” The Canterbury Tales

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“Teaching is not a job; it is a calling, a profession to which one’s life is dedicated.”

                                                                          Charles F. French

A Few Books We Need

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Some books speak to a specific time, and some reach across eras with their messages. Some include a message for a definite audience, while others span a more general readership.  And some times call out for certain books to be read.

Books are one form of the Media, which must remain free if freedom itself is to survive. Given the turmoil of our present time, I am suggesting these books as crucial reading for today’s world:

1984

 George Orwell

1984

(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

Night

Elie Wiesel

wiesel-elie

(http://night2011.wikispaces.com)

It Can’t Happen Here

 Sinclair Lewis

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

Quotations on Curiosity

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“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.”

                                                                     Albert Einstein

 

 

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“Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” 

                                                                    Eleanor Roosevelt 

 

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“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

                                                                    Socrates

 

 

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“Life without curiosity is mere existence. Adults should remember the curiosity they had as children and rekindle that desire to question and to learn–always.”

Charles F. French

Thoughts From Chaucer and Shakespeare

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Today I will offer a few quotations from writers from earlier eras about creativity, learning, and teaching.

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(illustration from Cassell’s History Of England – Century Edition – published circa 1902)

“And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche”

“And gladly would he learn, and gladly teach.”

These are the Middle English and the Modern English versions of this quotation from “The General Prologue” of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. This idea is of enormous importance to me, because I am both a teacher and a life-long student.  All people should try to continue to learn throughout their lives and to teach someone else the wisdom they have amassed.

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(Portrait of William Shakespeare, attributed to John Taylor
NPG London)

“Suit the action to the word,

the word to the action, with this special observance,

that you o’erstep not the modesty of of nature. For

anything so over-done is from the purpose of playing,

whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to

hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue

her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age

and body of the time his form and pressure.”

                                William Shakespeare (Hamlet Act 3. Scene2. lines 16-23)

Shakespeare speaks to the importance of representing life and humanity as it is and to examine the world in its complexities; it can also be an injunction for all creative efforts. I do not mean we should eliminate abstraction, metaphor, or altered forms, but that, at our core, we are creating art about humanity and our world.

Keep learning and keep sharing what you know.

Quotations on Bigotry

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“What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice.”

Albert Einstein

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

                                                                 Nelson Mandela

 

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“There should be no discrimination against languages people speak, skin color, or religion.”

                                                                         Malala Yousafzai

 

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“Bigotry of all kinds is intolerable, unjustifiable, and immoral. We, as human beings, must always be willing to stand up against any kind of bigotry.”

                                                                       Charles F. French