Survival, books, and teaching.

With the Integrated Outdoor Program, it seems like such a good fit.  We talk about global thinking, environmental activism, positive interactions and decision making.

So why not teach Three Cups of Tea?

I read it two years ago, fully intending to teach it even though it was a “memoir” written in third person and the real writer, David Oliver Relin, wasn’t getting full credit.


I hated it.  The book is horrible.  Greg Mortenson is the worst kind of absentee father, a self-glorifying jerk who martyrs his own family in the name of global good.

But, as is often the case, the story is complicated.  My feelings – strong as they were on certain subjects – were mixed.  Mortenson’s schools seemed wonderful.

I believe in educating the underprivileged populations of the world.  Educating girls. Educating without an extremist religious structure.

But I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t teach it.  I made excuses and skipped it last year. Replaced it with another book. Then it just didn’t quite fit in this year either.

I consoled myself with a reiteration of Laurence Gonzales’ survival prompt:  Trust Your Instincts.

There was something about the book that I hated.  Couldn’t exactly say why.

What’s wrong with 55 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan?  What’s wrong with international charity?  Love of education?

Now this.  Denise Oswald, my content editor, sent it to me:

Vindication.  And I feel so much better.

Trust your instincts.


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