Large Windmills Again Dot the Countryside
by Albert 1

# 1. 4/16/04 12:18 PM by BF - Roch
I did recognize the reference; my apologies for not formulating a response.

Sancho was Don Quixote's sidekick, and as I recall from the book (which I haven't read in many years), and in a nutshell, Sancho was the "grounding in reality" to the Don's flights of idealistic fancy.

Cervantes included many elements from his own life in the book, and while other late-Renaissance authors continued to tell tales of knights and chivalry, he wrote the first part of Don Quixote as a kind of parody to that genre, reflecting the tumult of the changing times in Spain, and commenting on the changing religious and social aspects of the time in the second part of the book.

But you seem to have removed the original column so I cannot respond; what did you require a response to?

Editor's Note: You more than covered it. I wonder if Cervantes is still taught in high school?

I removed it since another WOTL'r also posted a reference to Cervantes the same day and I prefer to avoid conflict if at all possible without inhibiting my writing.

# 2. 4/16/04 3:22 PM by Jim
Tried to post this earlier -- I see Sancho is to Don as Tonto is to the Lone Ranger

Editor's Note: Do you know the joke which ends in "What do you mean "we" white man!?

If not I will share it with the significant point.

# 3. 4/16/04 5:18 PM by Michael - Provo
I read it, recognized the name, enjoyed the review, but for whatever reason didn't have a ready response.

Editor's Note: Teacher execuses you once, just don't pose any of your thermodynamic questions.

# 4. 4/16/04 6:32 PM by Jim
I heard it as "what do you mean "WE" Kemosabi"

Not sure how to spell Kemosabi

Editor's Note: Close enough-( the joke reports "what do you mean white man?" at that point the Lone Ranger's inclusive "we" was not going to save his scalp.

When spoken to, I often feel like Tonto when "we" is used.

"Hey Kemosaby, Tonto got to get back to my people as we have a little haircut dance to perform, care to join us?

BTW. I recall Jay Silverheels was a Rochesterian.

# 5. 8/25/07 9:19 AM by Sharon - Chili, NY
I recognized the name. I always enjoyed the musical Man of LaMancha.

Editor's Note: I wonder if Don Quixote is still taught in high school.

# 6. 8/25/07 9:41 AM by Sharon - Chili, NY
I don't know if they still read Don Quiote. I remember when I was in high school in the stone age, we read The 3 Musketeers and Silas Marner. I can't remember any others.

Editor's Note: The most interesting book we experienced in High School English class was "No Time for Seargents".

On Easter vacation my class visited NYC and saw Andy Griffen perform in the play.

# 7. 8/25/07 9:59 AM by BF
To answer your query whether or not Don Quixote is still taught in high school: my kids didn't read it.

Perhaps it is taught in some places in a specialty class -- an elective -- or in an advanced Spanish class, but no, I believe it is not part of the standard NYS curriculum in English.

Even "back in the day" when I was in high school I read part of it as part of an English "Literature in Translation" class, which actually was interesting because the foreign language teachers came into our class and taught the literature. The Latin teacher taught "Antigone," the French teacher taught "Cyrano de Bergerac," and the Spanish teacher taught "Don Quixote." I loved the class.

Editor's Note: Perhaps the lessons of Cervantes are better taught on the college level.

# 8. 8/25/07 12:59 PM by BF
Why do you suggest that, Albert?

Editor's Note: Why do I suggest who Sancho Panza was??

# 9. 8/25/07 2:33 PM by cord
FYI: I taught DON QUIXOTE (or "Don Quix-oat," as my stu-dense referred to it) when I taught h.s. literature. It was part of a Great Books elective, primarily though not exclusively designed for college prep kids. As you may know, it's enormously long, and takes considerable time out of an 18-week course. But we did it. I doubt that it's taught any more. Maybe they just show the video of "Man of La Mancha." Good play, but a poor substitute for the novel.

Editor's Note: I wonder how many get entertained yet miss the deeper meaning the author intended.

# 10. 8/25/07 4:23 PM by BF
No. Why you said, "Perhaps the lessons of Cervantes are better taught on the college level."

Editor's Note: Due to the limit of how much time is available to teach literature. Also impinging on that time is the ever increasing amount of more contemporary work which needs to be recognized.

# 11. 8/26/07 8:15 AM by Dull Cinea Greg
alreddy new bout sancho (and I knew Richard Kiley, star of Broadway Man of La Mancha, personally..he used to buy corn from us)

Editor's Note: The personal relates are always interesting here on WOTL.

# 12. 8/26/07 8:17 AM by Qpekto

As my writing probably shows, I hated English when I was in high school 40 years ago. During my junior year, I discovered that if I took two years of a foreign language I could skip English my senior year; so I took two years of German. My hatred of the study of English followed me into college, where I actually failed English 101. The only book I remember reading while in high school was H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. I never read a book for pleasure until I was 22 years of age and after reading that first book, "Joshua, Son of None," I was hooked. I am happiest when I'm reading a book. I have not read many of the classics, and the only time I had exposure to Don Quixote was 30+ years ago, when I saw the play, Man of Lamancha, with my wife. When it comes to many literary references I am ignorant. The name Sancho Panza, until I read your post, was meaningless to me.

Signed - A Fool When I was Young

Editor's Note: When I was younfg I was that way about both the Classics in literature and music.

Those of us who are allowed to live long enough to appreciate what we once hated are truly blessed.

# 13. 8/26/07 8:47 AM by BF
So, Albert, what's your take on the "deeper meaning" Cervantes intended?

Editor's Note: That a person whos seems a fool to many can be a hero and role model to others.

# 14. 8/26/07 1:44 PM by greg
one more ADHD disconnect...another broadway son studied under Sam Wright, the Lion King on Broadway..

Editor's Note: How old was your son at the time.

You probably know that Garth Fagan is a Rochester talent. I think he did the choreography for the Lion King.

I only have seen two stage plays in NYC, both off B'Way.

Scuba Dooba and No Time for Seargents at the Alvin Theater..

# 15. 8/26/07 4:37 PM by BF
I didn't realize that was Cervantes's intent.

I always thought he wrote it as a satire on the popular chivalric novels popular in Spain at the time.

It really is quite an important novel in the canon. Think of the influences it has had on English: "quixotic"; "tilting at windmills" etc. This is in addition to altering the style of the literature of the time.

And if you guys start talking Broadway plays, I'm going to jump into the discussion.

Editor's Note: Are you familiar with Scuba-Dooba? I think it was considered "off B'Way.

No fair looking it up on a search engine first.

# 16. 8/26/07 6:19 PM by BF
"Scooby Doo," yes;

"Scuba-Dooba," no.

Will you give us a clue?

The first Broadway show I saw was "The Belle of Amherst" with Julie Harris, who originated the role, back in 1976.

I saw "Nunsense" for the first time off-Broadway maybe 17 years ago.

Years later I took the kids to see "Beauty and the Beast on Broadway" which they enjoyed tremendously.

Other Broadway-type shows I've seen in Toronto, Buffalo, or Rochester.

Several years ago I went to NYC to see acclaimed actor Derek Jacobi in "Uncle Vanya" -- Laura Linney was in it too. She looked good but I think she must be a better screen actress because on stage she was wooden.

The latest show I've seen was GEVA's (a local regional theater) production of "A Chorus Line" a couple of years ago; the production was good, but the small stage cramped the finale, which was disappointing.

When my older daughter was young she was very interested in theater; a convenient and inexpensive way for us to see a lot of shows was to make the "high school musical" route -- these days the productions tend to be surprisingly good, and if the acting isn't Broadway quality, at least the actors are earnest. :-)

Editor's Note: Scuba Dooba was playing around 1969 in NY.

It was infamous for one of the first plays to include a actress who was topless for part of the play.

I don't think the play had very good legs but its noteriety was played up in the various national news media.

The only other play I saw in NYC was No Time for Seargents with Andy Griffeth which became a movie later on.

# 17. 8/26/07 7:27 PM by BF
Note to Qpekto: it's NEVER too late to start reading "the Classics."

More than just tales which have been deemed "important" by one group or another, these works of fiction are often doorways into the periods of history in which they were written, or they are allegorical.

Literature is not written in a vacuum.

Editor's Note: It take a special teacher to introduce the classics to a captive audience,

Too many teachers only knew how to teach those who already were receptive.

I was fortunate to have a teacher for two years who loved literature and knew how to spoon feed the classics to a resistant class.

She accompanied my Sr Class to NYC as a chaperone.

She also read the entire book of No Time For Seargents to us.

Although she was expected to put some emphasis on English grammer and other unpalatable aspects of high school English her class was 100% literature.

# 18. 8/26/07 9:58 PM by BF
You are, of course, a lucky man to have had such a teacher.

I can only hope that I have had such an impact on my students, and more importantly, on my own children.

Editor's Note: The problem is that I also experienced the opposite type teacher who only put effort into students who did not begin a course with problems.

In my case it was intermendiate algebra. I think I made a wise move by dropping the class.

# 19. 3/12/08 3:05 PM by Rich Corke - Rochester, NY
When the student is ready, the teacher arrives.

Editor's Note: It's natures way of filling a vacuum.

# 20. 7/19/12 12:22 PM by little john - Mt.Morris,N.Y.
thumbsup.gif Thanx for reposting this column and the interesting comments...

In 1967 I read the whole book "Don Quixote", over 1200 pages if I remember correctly. That is why I flunked out of chemical engineering at RPI. I got hooked on world literature, and trashed my time in calculus, physics, chemistry, and engineering science, in the process.

Miquel Cervantes was in prison, during the Spanish Inquisition, and mentally wrote this play of parables and parodies to describe a noble way to approach the world which was, at that time, "Like Tilting your lance at windwills, and getting tossed about by fate and the winds of change."

The jousting that goes around comes around so to speak...

This book, this movie, is still and forever one of my favorites, along with the lyrics to the song the Impossible Dream...

Hiyo Silver, and Don Quixote, to the music of the William Tell Overture...

And Sancho was the Amish-like Witness to his madness, like Tonto to the masked man behind the mask, of the Lone Ranger,

The Father of Billy Jack,

and One Tin Soldier who rides away...

Editor's Note: Thanks for your input on this. I feel that many today believe trying to affect political Chang is like tilting at windmills.

# 21. 10/16/13 8:01 AM by Tom Dey - Springwater, NY
Your original post must have been during my "too busy to engage" years. Indeed Cervantes was required at Aquinas and enjoyable. The lesson I took from it was there IS value in acting on principle, even if against all odds and even perceived as insane by "normal" society. I still firmly believe that lesson, and will favor a man/woman of principle over the "common" self-serving one any day. Teleology and ontology enter into what motivates. I favor teleology as the "high road." Even if I disagree with a teleologist on some topic de jour, I still respect him far more than the ontologist. Most people live entirely in their own world construct and come to discredit, even hate disagreeable teleologists. That strikes me as myopic bubble-ego of the "too common" flavor; "Every man for himself!" on a sinking Titanic? Regarding fighting windmills - the 46 in Cochocton STILL spin in neutral --- never hooked up to the grid!? What a waste---the carnival went on to other towns to sell their wares. Man, I'm glad we chased them from Springwater --- rode them out of town on a rail along the high road, actually --- on principle... Tom

Editor's Note: The community surrounding the village of Lima rejected WalMart.

Now Fracking is not getting a pass just because some paid advertising wants it to. They definitely are not as ignorant as they used to be and they are learning how to be more effective with their wants and needs.

The brighter future I see on the horizon will consist of many more less compliant citizens.

I have seen it in the voting even though I dont agree with all the results at least they are active.

# 22. 10/20/13 11:41 AM by Rick G.
Europe is loaded with these things.

Editor's Note: I wonder what their electric power costs the consumer. I also wonder who owns the power company. Did you visit any relatives or friends who could give you their opinion of their health care system? My Canadian friends love theirs and one of the couple was raised in the Rochester. It's always good to get users opinions of things to compare with ours.

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