It’s a good day to be man born of woman

The other day, my mom and I went to see “Wrath of the Titans” at the theater. My mother is an elementary GT teacher with Ector County ISD and one of the things they’re studying now is Greek culture and mythology.

Some of her students had seen it already and told her that the movie gets the myths “wrong,” and she generously told them that there’s many different versions of myths so it’s difficult to call any interpretation wrong, but of course after watching the movie, I felt her students bright and justified in their assessment.

“Titans” wasn’t what you’d call a bad movie. But it’s one of those films you could tell had scenes shot specifically for people wearing 3D glasses, and that’s not a problem except when it’s obvious.

Now, you may say, “Well why didn’t you watch it with 3D glasses on, then?” and that’s a valid point. But just the night before I’d watched “The Avengers” in 3D and still hated it.

“Avengers” is not a good movie, mind you. It’s an awesome movie and the moments of visual spectacle do abound and fill you with giddy exploding joy. (As an aside, what if Joss Whedon had directed the 2003 “Hulk” movie instead of Ang Lee? How much better would the world be today? Would we have cured cancer, you think?) If 3D should have helped any movie, it would be that one. And it didn’t.

The really ironic thing about 3D glasses is that instead of immersing you more in what you’re watching, it distracts you because stuff outside of the frame of the glasses doesn’t look quite right and you feel something on your face.

I’ll sound like a stuck-up jerk here, but despite the advances made in video games, television and movies, despite theater or opera or whatever else, the most immersive and interactive experience still is reading a good book. Everything else appeals to your senses to try to provoke some sort of reaction, while the telepathy of literature gets in your head and seduces you.

(Words are gorgeous things.)

I got my love of reading and words from my mother who had me reading with her and telling her stories from a very young age. How did you put me to bed? Get out the small biology book of spiders and scorpions and be regaled with the adventures of the noble “Harry” Hadrurus and his battles against the evil Pandinus imperator and his arachnid minions. How enormous the small space of one’s skull!

Anyway, my mom works very hard, I think that every time I see her or check her ECISD site, and works less it seems to teach children specific facts than to make them excited about learning new things and thinking cleverly, like what did Socrates mean by such and such quote. Amazing.

My mom is one of the smartest people I know and chose to teach kids rather than go into some other field, so I hope that whenever she retires she can go back to college. Not because she needs to, but because she’d enjoy learning new things and sharing them with others and instilling in them a desire to read things, ask questions and find out more about everything.

So, I have a pretty good life, and I have a pretty good idea why.

If there’s a moral to this column, and there is one, it’s that I have a really great mom. Hopefully you do, too.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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