a far journey

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III AT THE FEET OF MY TEACHERS My intellectual history began in the school of my uncle, my mother's first and favorite cousin, Priest Michael, of the Holy and Apostolic Greek Orthodox Church. I could not have been much more than three years old when my mother led me to sit at the feet of the priest of my people and receive instruction. The "Child Mind," "School Age," "Adolescence," and the many other psychological zones were unknown to my people. I could say "papa" and "mamma," and many other words at the age of three, and according to my parents' ideas I might just as well be saying the letters of the alphabet. At that time the men who could read and write in El-Shweir were extremely few. Certain parish priests established what might be called reading circles for the purpose of fitting some of the youth of the parish with sufficient knowledge of reading to assist the priest at the mass.The course consisted of the alphabet, the Book of Psalms, writing, and a short exercise in mental arithmetic. My recollections of my uncle's school are dim and meager. His house consisted of two rooms, one of which was the schoolroom. Besides the door this room had one window, which had wooden shutters and no glass. It was opened when the weather permitted. The pupils, who numbered about twenty-five, sat on the straw mats on the floor with their legs crossed under them. In compliance with good manners, we took our shoes from off our feet upon entering the room, just outside the threshold in summer and just inside in winter. In the days of Moses that was done as a sign of reverence for holy places, as he did it before the "burning bush"; and, as in ancient Syria every family had a household god, the shoes had to be removed from the feet upon entering the house in deference to ... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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