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Writing and Reading

About These Writings

Vintage Book - Age of Reason by Thomas PaineThis page contains links to various writings by Charles R. Scott – aka Chuck Scott – including essays published in other media (e.g., newspapers, magazines) – just click the tabs for a list of corresponding links (sorted by most recent to oldest).

Reading is the Mother of Learning

My 1898 first-edition copy of Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason published by The Truth Seeker Company is a beautiful book, and I particularly love the gold-leaf front-cover with the spirit of Adam and Eve picking apples from the Tree of Knowledge.

It strikes me as a bit odd how most of us tend to think of said apple-picking as a slippery slope that induced error-consciousness and original sin.

I say this because I suspect that any such tree would probably have yielded more than one apple as there are many different kinds of knowledge. I also suspect said tree might have been part of a larger group thus part of an Apple Orchard of Knowledge.

And I’m also not so convinced that knowledge can be handed off in a passive apple bite and sense that true knowledge really only comes from learning.

What makes reading so cool is that we can learn by reading without having to experience matters first hand – e.g., the knowledge gained from a lifetime can be shared in a book, whereby others can process in a couple of hours what it took one a lifetime or many years to learn.

Which brings me to Mr. Paige.

Around 1976, I attended Reams Road Junior High School in Richmond Virginia and in the 8th grade had the honor of having Mr. Paige as an English teacher. I remember him as a large man of color with short silver hair. A man in his late 50’s or early 60’s with a presence akin to a James Earl Jones who walked up and down the classroom aisles with a serious but gentle demeanor. He was my first African-American teacher and conducted himself like an elite university professor in very deliberate and sober terms.

“Reading is the Mother of Learning” he would pronounce. Not once but three times and during almost every class he would state this simple line.

At the time it was a bit strange as an 8th grader to fully understand why this man would repeat himself whereas none of my other teachers embarked on such a habit. But according to him, the human brain needs repetition to fine tune muscles of retention and learning.

He went on to state that we had to read something several times before we truly comprehended it. Ditto for visually processing something, and apparently the magic number was three when it came to hearing something before it seeped fully into our consciousness of understanding.

As a writer, certainly I do not expect readers to repeatedly read my essays. But I am mindful that reading is important – perhaps because it is such an active and participatory engagement between the reader and the writer.

Consider other communication methods like music or film, both of which can more passively be consumed by an audience and do not demand the same level of active mental participation that reading seems to demand.

And looping back to Thomas Paine and respected bygone writers like him. One of the antique books in my collection opens with a statement that essentially says this:

“For the ancients to put something down as written text was laborious. Candle light, stone chiseling and etching into hard surfaces, the expense and luxury of writing materials, having the free time after a day’s labors, all added up to the fact that when the ancients had something to say, and they took the time and expense to write it down, it really meant they had something VERY important to share.”

Accordingly, bravo to the ancient brotherhood of readers and writers. Together, our words and sharing of ideas have brought us to this point in evolution and that’s a good thing!

Published in Other Media

Published in Other Media

Below are links to a writings published in other media:

  • Stupid Registrar Promotions and Marketers Who Don’t Get It – essay that was quoted by CNBC
  • Flying Milk Bone on High Ridge Avenue – A Random Act of Kindness in Ridgefield – Woof! – published in the Jan 8th 2009 Ridgefield Press premier edition of the Ridgefield Voices column
  • Healing Mass is for Everybody – a Virgin Perspective from a Spiritual Cheerleader – published in the Ridgefield Press on March 20th, 2008, this is a true story about what I witnessed during the first time I attended a healing mass
  • Final Wag – God Spelled Backwards is Dog – published in the Ridgefield Press on November 22nd, 2006, this is a true story and very moving for anybody who has ever lost a pet or witnessed an animal suffer from being hit by a car, yet it also is a hopeful story that recounts the miracle of timing and how God is always “Right On Time, All The Time” even though it might not always seem evident to us at the time …
  • All Lights On – A New Sun Rises in the West – written in May of 2006 and published as a chapter in a political book as part of a ghost writing assignment, this essay explores the meaning of a “Second Coming” amongst the backdrop of Christian scripture, Native American prophecies, 17th & 18th century writings, plus our unfolding landscape of technical innovations
  • Reverse Car Jacking On Main Street – published in the Ridgefield Press on May 18th, 2006, this is a true story and a car chasing reminder that it is easy to be on auto-pilot with bad news, but what about processing the good news – e.g., like car-jackers in-reverse who return your car and give you back what you were about to lose ..??.. viva the heroes – sung and unsung!
  • Always Creative – book published in 1999 that provides a simple and elegant mathematical proof that creativity is a real force (akin to electricity) and goes on to explore the creative process proving that all of us can be creative 24x7x365

Other Essays

Other Essays

 

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