When I was an English teacher, I taught an entire week each year from THE WALKING DRUM
Out of my own pocket, I bought 30 paperback copies of the book that stayed in class.
The three branches of the public library got to buying extra copies of the book for my students who hungered to know what happened next.
It is set in 12th century Europe and the Middle East.
In the course of the story he travels from place to place, ultimately in search of his missing father.
Along the way, he finds himself in the roles of slave, pirate, scholar, physician, merchant, alchemist and yet always a student.
Kerbouchard is a romantic seeker of knowledge and fortune on a challenging journey, full of danger, excitement, adventure and revenge.
In fact, it is his learning that again and again saves him when a sword would have done little good.
Along his long journey the main character is thrust
into the heart of the treacheries, passions, violence and dazzling wonders of a magnificent time.
The book is named for a merchant caravan's marching drum, first described in chapter 36:
We often sang as we marched, and there was always the sound of the walking drum, a sound I shall hear all my life, so deeply is it embedded in the fibers of my being.
The book is a tribute to the value of life-long learning.
Why do I mention it now?
BECAUSE MULTIPLE STUDIES STRESS
IT WILL BE LOVE OF LEARNING
THAT WILL ENABLE PRESENT STUDENTS TO SURVIVE IN AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE
The half-life of a career is now about 10 years. It will decrease, within a decade, to five years.
Advancing technologies will cause so much disruption to almost every industry that entire professions will disappear.
Some experts, too entrenched in ivory towers, envision a jobless future
where machines do the work and even driving will become a lost skill due to self-driving vehicles.
For a small rich elite, society may become that.
But for most of our citizens, our country may become a grim dark age
of mostly have-not's where the jobless majority struggle to survive on hungry, hostile streets.
Only those who learn as much as they can in as many fields as they can will stand a chance to improvise a life that adapts to ever-changing conditions.
What do experts say are the most probable trends in computers? Is it possible to train yourself for them?
Technology is now as important a skill as are reading, writing, and mathematics.
Kids in Silicon Valley who can write code have an edge in starting technology companies. Still design and the soft sciences will gain increasing importance.
Yet, if another Carrington Event happened,
and the United States found itself without any transformers, hence working electricity for months,
do you know what the first things to do would be?
Could you generate your own electricity with a small windmill, or do it by attaching a bicycle to a generator?
How about astronomy? Could you tell direction just by the stars?
Could you take suspect water and make it into something drinkable?
Can you make a fire without matches?
Do you know the basics of first aid?
Do you know the basic requirements for the human body? How long can a human go without food, without water?
Do you know simple mechanics, the workings of simple levers and pulleys?
What about the basics of electricity, of ham radios, of mob psychology?
An interesting book is
SEAL Survival Guide: A Navy SEAL's Secrets to Surviving Any Disaster
How often have you heard from recent news reports: “We never thought it would happen to us.”
From random shootings to deadly wildfires to terrorist attacks,
the reality is that modern life is unpredictable and dangerous.
Don’t live in fear or rely on luck -- rely on your own educated mind and strength of will.
Just a thought for you to consider. :-)