Sunday, April 7, 2013

On the Origin of Species: 100% Complete

Winston Churchill's A History of the English-Speaking Peoples came in at the library, and I was so excited to start it that I buckled down and finished Darwin over the weekend. 
I also had some good news this week! I got a job as a certified nursing assistant at a retirement home and I found out I got accepted to nursing school beginning in the fall! So I'm going to try to do a lot of extra reading between now and September so I will have a little wiggle room once I start nursing school.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and I understood more of it than I expected to.  It did seem to be a little repetitive occasionally but not annoyingly so.  I found Darwin's rather conversational writing style refreshing.
The final vocabulary word from this book is "fecundate" which means to fertilize.
One thing I enjoyed about Darwin was his rather "grass-roots" experimental methods.  In my biology class last quarter, my teacher shared a story about Darwin putting dead birds in his bathtub full of salt water to see how long they could theoretically float in the ocean before sinking.  In some cases, he had rotting birds in the bathtub for more than a month or two.  I can just imagine how enthusiastic his wife was about that.  So when I came across this passage, I once again pictured Darwin conducting his "experiments" with his characteristic enthusiasm:
"In the course of two months, I picked up in my garden 12 kinds of seeds, out of the excrement of small birds, and these seemed perfect, and some of them, which I tried, germinated."
Next up: A History of the English-Speaking Peoples!

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