Featured Book Review from Al

This Is Water, by David Foster Wallace
This tiny little book changed my life. It is raw and real and simple in the best of ways. On its surface it is about education and “learning how to think,” but at its core it is about what it means to be a human being, and what it is that we can do for ourselves and each other to ease suffering. It is about the ongoing process of cultivating simple, critical awareness—of getting out of your own way in order to be able to see the world of possibilities that lies just beyond the vision of your lens of self. Wallace pares away the self-congratulatory and ego-cradling tropes of conventional commencement addresses and speaks truth to education: it is not developing about proper grammar and technical know-how; it is not about grades, or judgments. It is about moving beyond judgment. It is about doing the work of both recognizing the ways in which you tend to automatically value and judge and then questioning them, putting them to the test. This deliberate living is lifelong work, and is, according to Wallace, “the real value of a real education.” I agree.