Sometime in the Spring of 1996, I was asked to write the review of this book. Obtaining a review copy took some time and in order to get the review in for the Fall Kairos I needed to have that review copy before I left for an extended camping trip to Canada. Jennifer Roderick, the Assistant Editor, was prepared to express-mail a galley to me at a campsite in Canada. However, she plowed through publishing red tape and a personal family tragedy to get a copy to me the day before I was to leave.
Our first stop was Killington to do some serious mountain biking. A flat tire in Troy on the Northway delayed the start of this trip and set a foreboding feeling amongst my family. Undeterred we moved on. The book was read while in Killington for two days and then in to Canada. In our first campground outside Quebec City, by the light of a propane lantern and a flickering fire, I began the review with pencil and paper. I was writing a review of a book on using the Internet with a pencil and paper by candlelight. I had to laugh as a shooting star passed over head. The kids were asleep and my wife was reading next to me as we sipped our tea. This scene was repeated on a daily basis for the next week as we meandered up the St Lawrence River into the Gaspé. The nights got darker and the shooting stars more plentiful as the review continued in pencil on lined paper.
The review was completed by the time we reached Forillon National Park. Swimming with the seals and touring the old cottages and villages of a fishing community gone by brought me back to the roots by which I had produced a document at a most rudimentary level about the future in teaching English. The irony kept me chuckling as I watched the shooting stars streak by and the sparks of the fire rise skyward.
The evenings were spent in editing and rewriting and adding to the review using the methods of my ancestors. Upon return to home and to my computer, the task of transcribing my smoky-smelling notes to bits and bytes left me with a melancholy feeling of a simpler but harder time as I wrote of the future. I was interrupted in my writing by the rescue of a jumper from one of the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge for a couple of hours before the sun rose Saturday morning. I must say the entire experience has been truly cosmic.