Author Archives: Kyle Williams

The Flow of the River by Loren Eiseley

 

Floating down a lazy river may be relaxing and a good way to get some sun, but with the right kind of mind it can be a way to reconnect with the beginning of life on the planet. In his essay, The Flow of the River, Loren Eiseley takes an impromptu journey on the Platte River which becomes a meditation on the way water unites all life on Earth. With his unique blend of philosophy and science, wonder and understanding, Eiseley takes us on a journey through time, back to the mysterious origins of life in the primordial oceans.

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Loren Eiseley

Loren Eiseley, anthropologist, philosopher, nature writer, and poet, was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1907. Renowned for his creative nonfiction essays on the natural world, Eiseley combines personal narrative with scientific research to illuminate the mysteries of nature, especially the evolution of humans, animals, and the universe, as well as the uniqueness of the human experience.

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Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know BF441 .G693 2021

We have all been there before, after finishing a test, you have a moment of doubt and panic about one of your answers. You flip back and go over the question again, but erasing that mark can seem like a tremendous effort. Most of us believe that our first instinct is correct, so we leave it as it is, despite our misgivings. We may even have been told by instructors to leave an answer once it is on paper because more often than not our doubts are unfounded and simply products of nervous overthinking. This is known as the first-instinct fallacy. In reality, studies have shown that students usually change their answer to the correct one. Adam Grant uses this example to introduce us to the practice of rethinking.

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One of Ours Book Review

Willa Cather’s novel, One of Ours, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1923, tells the coming-of-age story of Claude Wheeler, the son of a wealthy farmer with an easy life and a head full of ideas living in Frankfort, Nebraska. Claude lives more in his head than with his body, a temperament not conducive to a life of long days and hard work on a farm. Claude attends a Christian college but would rather attend the State University in Lincoln, as he finds his classes and professors dull. He feels contradictorily towards his home life, “both loved and hated to come home” (70). While he loves the land and his immigrant farmer neighbors, he does not get on well with his family.

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Who is Willa Cather?

Perhaps the most famous Nebraska author, Willa Cather is known for her depictions of rural Midwestern life, often juxtaposing it with modern metropolises. Born in 1873 in Virginia, Cather moved with her family to her grandfather’s farm near Red Cloud, Nebraska when she was nine. An independent child, Willa flourished on the open plains and small town of Red Cloud, where she fit in well among immigrant farmers and teachers, enjoying the countryside as well as more artistic and intellectual endeavors.

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