Monday, December 20, 2004

& Josh, I couldn’t stop smiling reading your description of the campaign so far. I haven’t played in half a lifetime, but (or maybe I mean “and”?) it sounds like great fun. I’m actually thinking of getting Neverwinter Nights so I can play on my own & at my own pace, but I’m afraid of giving up what little free time I have for reading & writing to that. I may though, I may.

I did get Jonah a game called "Heroscape" for Hannukkah, a very simple miniatures-based fantasy wargame, and we've played a few times. For someone who can't read, he's caught on pretty quickly to the nuances of combat (like going for the high ground with his bowman and dragon, the better to shoot down on me), and I am enjoying playing more than I would have expected. I used to play wargames incessantly in latter-high-school. I even thought about becoming a 'military strategist', in some vague way, though how I squared this desire with my self-conception as a 'Hegelian Socialist' (whatever that meant to me, I don't really remember, I suppose because I remember not one thing Hegel wrote) I guess I can't really attest to. I think I gave the idea up when I realized I'd probably have to actually join the military.

So Dara & I've decided it is a good thing to teach Jonah how much fun fake violence can be (like, with plastic swordfighting), as a way of also saying how awful real violence can be. Kind of a homeopathic approach. And it's really working very well, actually. That is, he's very aware of the difference between thinking something and doing it. Which is a good portion of what growing up is, maybe, seen from one perspective.

Ok, short Jonah-is-so-great story. Today Jonah asked me "why W? Like, double-u? Why?" Which was a great question. So I explained to him, 'say u, then say it long, ok, now say it at the beginning of a word, see?' He got it. I thought that was pretty cool. Then I explained how 'U' used to be written 'V', and vice versa, and that's why 'w' looks like two 'v's. He said "That makes sense! That makes sense!" It was a great moment. I don't think I'd ever thought about the phonetics of 'W' before.

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