16 February 2006

Fast and Slow

I'm still reading Adler's How to Read a Book . I've been pondering his statement that: "With regard to rates of reading, then, the ideal is not merely to be able to read faster, but to be able to read at different speeds -- and to know when the different speeds are appropriate."

Ah. Isn't that one of life's great questions? When ARE different speeds appropriate, be it knitting, reading, walking, talking, singing....

I remember grade school arithmetic. I remember that the teacher would write an example of some new concept on the board, such as multiplying fractions. I would instantly grasp the concept, and scurry through my work. Then I'd sit and wait for the rest of the class to catch up. I don't think going more slowly would've been a great help. I was going at the appropriate pace for my learning ability. But the one-size-fits-all classroom didn't accomodate that. That's one of the reasons we homeschool -- so we can choose our speed. I'll admit that I sometimes choose the wrong speed. I'll think the kids have quickly learned a concept, and later discover that they really don't get it. Other times they speed ahead of me, leaving me with a cool explanatory lesson plan and no one needing an explanation. But overall, it's so wonderful to set our own speed.

And knitting? Some knitting really isn't worth lingering over, let's be honest. Last summer I wanted to stage my living room when our house was on the market; I wanted a new white throw for the couch. I whipped one up in a weekend. Definitely not worth knitting slowly. Now KidV2 wants a poncho. A pink and sparkly poncho. A pink and sparkly poncho she can wear while out playing and climbing trees. Definitely not a garment in which I shall invest my heart, soul, and oodles of time (I'm sure it will feel like it's taking forever, though, because hot pink, sparkly, washable, cheap yarn pretty much says "icky to knit with" to me, the sort of thing the feels like knitting purgatory). However, I've knit many things that have been satisfyingly slow -- inches of lace slowly emerging from my needles as though by magic. It really boils down to who is my intended audience. Is it someone who will appreciate the time the item took?

I'm not ending with a big over-arching statement to roll all of this post together. No profound summary. That would entail writing slowly. I'm slapping this out as fast as my fingers will type. I'm not sure that's what blogging should be about, this willy-nilly tumble of half-thought thoughts. I know that I tend to read other blogs quickly. Perhaps it would be more satisfying to linger over both the reading and the writing. I'll be thinking about that for the next few days. As quickly as I write and talk and do arithmetic, I tend to think very slowly.

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