Eyes wide…at least on one side

If you read with your eyes shut you’re likely to find that the place where you’re going is far, far behind. So…that’s why I tell you to keep your eyes wide. Keep them wide open…at least on one side.

– Dr. Seuss (I Can Read With My Eyes Shut, 1978)

Today marks the release of a NEW Dr. Seuss book: What Pet Should I Get?

I have been a Dr. Seuss fan for as long as I can remember. The Christmas season always included reciting How the Grinch Stole Christmas word-for-word with my brother while watching the cartoon special on TV.

Dr. Seuss (1957)

Later as a primary teacher, I was delighted to bring in my favourite books to the classroom and designed lesson plans around Dr. Seuss’ stories. For example, I enjoyed reading The Lorax on Earth Day and found the Sneetches helpful when highlighting friendship and equality issues.

In 2013, I travelled to the UK for the first time and was thrilled to visit the Lincoln College library at the University of Oxford – where Dr. Seuss studied 🙂

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Fun facts:

  • he left Oxford before completing his PhD in English Literature
  • he used the pen name Dr. because his father wanted him to go into medicine
  • he never finished his PhD (but later received an honorary doctorate)

…thinking of Dr. Seuss…I feel an attempt at rhyming coming on
(…apologies in advance…)

Late in 2013 at Christmas time,
while humming a fun Grinchy rhyme,
I came upon a downtown store
– a Sydney store I never heard of before
a store with the name Dr. Seuss on the door!

I stopped in a few times in 2014,
(maybe looking for Sylvester McMonkey McBean?).
I enjoy the displays of Dr. Seuss’ art,
with sketches and colours that warmed my heart,
– often wondering…could I one day own a small part?

Then one sunny Sydney September day,
after sending wishes in a most Seussical way,
I asked about purchasing a particular piece of artwork.
But “sorry it’s not available” said the kind Dr. Seuss clerk.
Oh well, I thought….gallery gazing is still a great city life perk!

Months later, with my art choice no longer on my mind,
I was busy finalising my dissertation – it was almost time to bind.
When I opened my inbox for new emails – only to find…
a message from the gallery clerk
– the one who in September was so kind!

From "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" Artwork courtesy of a great school in Alberta, Canada: Footprints for Learning (June 2015)

From “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” Artwork courtesy of a great school in Alberta, Canada 🙂

What happened next?
Well from the following picture you could say…
that I became the owner of my favourite piece of artwork
soon after that day!

They even hung it on the wall in the gallery for me! Now it hangs on my wall :)

They even hung it on the wall in the gallery for me! Now it hangs on my wall 🙂

For me, this piece celebrates completing my PhD,
Perhaps the tall cat is my supervisor
– passing on some knowledge to me?
“Oh, the stuff you will learn” is a quote from Dr. Seuss’ 1978 book,
“I can read with my eyes shut”
– here’s some pictures I took,
(…you’ll even see a small sign that says “Oz”
…and kangaroos if you take a look!)

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So although my formal education has come to an end,
Life-long learning will always be my trend.
What’s next, you ask? Well, my friend,
…writing articles and grant applications that I must send.
(Do you think they’ll accept research written in Seussical prose?
Maybe…but I don’t think I’ll risk having those doors close…)

____________________________________________________________

In the Conversation today there is an interesting article about Dr. Seuss.

Did you know that:

‘after WWII, Dr. Seuss dedicated himself to creating art that would speak to a sense of fairness and justice that he believed only children possessed’? 

Click the graphic to link to the article

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