Item description for It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It by Robert Fulghum...
Overview The author presents a collection of observations and comments that range from an account of a disastrous Christmas pageant to travelogues
Publishers Description In his first phenomenal best-seller, EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN, Robert Fulghum reminded readers everywhere of some plain and still-true truths. Now, picking up where he left off, Fulghum turns our eyes to show-and-tell, weddings, his own ten commandments, and more insightful and unique observations on what our world is and was....
Citations And Professional Reviews It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It by Robert Fulghum has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 02/22/1991
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/1993 page 647
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Robert Fulghum is a writer, philosopher, and public speaker, but he has also worked as a cowboy, a folksinger, an IBM salesman, a professional artist, a parish minister, a bartender, a teacher of drawing and painting, and a father. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten has inspired numerous theater pieces that have captivated audiences across the country. Fulghum is also the author of many New York Times bestsellers, including It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It, Uh-Oh, and Maybe (Maybe Not), as well as two plays: All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and Uh-Oh, Here Comes Christmas. He has also written two novels: Third Wish and If You Love Me Still, Will You Love Me Moving?
Robert Fulghum currently resides in Seattle, in the state of Washington.
Reviews - What do customers think about It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It?
Brings a chuckle Feb 1, 2008
The jack of all trades, Fulghum, says its a continuation of "All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten". With his live and let live, universalist world view he shares his observations and opinions of every day life. Each chapter is a short story with a special meaning, and usually brings a chuckle. Many are personal; subjects include: scientific uncertainties, parents, blood, public affection, marriage, religion, lemonade, travel, customs, blessings in disguise, and even yucky stuff----thanks mothers. The book is a good release for every day tension. He is still pondering, "what is my occupation?"
Wish you well Scott
Laughing Out Loud Oct 19, 2007
I started reading this book on an airplane...and in some ways I wish I hadn't. I was laughing and laughing at the sheer unexpectedness of this book, shaking the entire row with my convulsions. I think some were trying to figure out if I were laughing or crying, as I had tears running down my cheeks. The stories were a total surprise to me, for I didn't buy this book for the humor. I actually bought it because a friend had told me one extremely meaningful story out of the book, regarding the meaning of life. In essence, this story-ette is about a priest and his meaning of life, and a small mirror...he believes the meaning of life is to bring light to dark places, a game he used to play when he was a kid with sunlight and a mirror. That game has become a metaphor for his life. So I bought the book for that reason, for a few little pages. But now 1/2 way through the book, it has entertained me way more than expected.
The book is written in article form, with each story-ette lasting 3 to 7 pages, so it makes for excellent bedtime reading. FYI, this book and the writing remind me of Bill Bryson, and his writing style.
I came to scoff Oct 7, 2007
I must confess that, when I heard that this was a bestselling collection of inspirational anecdotes and essays by a minister, I was prepared to be skeptical. I was expecting oversimplifications, sentimentality and proselytizing. In fact I found myself moved to laughter and sadness. It is indeed written in simple language, but it is the simplicity of the clever writer. Fulghum quotes from Horace in Latin and from the Septuagint in Greek, and describes attending a talk on chaos theory at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, but makes it all sound plain and easy. He mentions "Apocalypse Now" but not the Book of Revelations. He is a long way from original sin and Calvinism. I think the central message is that there is much good in people and you can bring it out by being patient and being nice to them. I was almost convinced.
Excellent Book Sep 13, 2007
Buy it, excellent life lessons. I f you cannot find a 2-5 page essay in this book you like or can relate to your younger than 15.
A Writer that Did Affect my perceptions of my role as a teacher May 11, 2007
National Day Of The Teacher 2007
The line between good and evil, hope and despair, does not divide the world between "us" and "them". It runs down the middle of every one of us. I do not want to talk about what you understand about this world. I want to know what you will do about it. I do not want to know what you hope. I want to know what you will work for. I do not want your sympathy for the needs of humanity. I want your muscle. As the wagon driver said when they came to a long hard hill, "Them that's going on with us, get out and push. Them that ain't, get out of the way." Robert Fulghum (1937 - ) Source: It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It, Page: 107
Teachers live on the line. For they work towards the day when will all "get there together, all to the promised land". They are doing something, full of all the contradictions of their humanity. But as I look at our world I see our teachers shouldering their share of doing. (I wrote this last night vomiting with a stomach flu trying in my illness to gather thoughts about teaching. The vomiting and the thoughts are somehow hooked. This quote one that started a training I had to attend this year... )
I recommend this book. I read it after I had taught a few years. Fulghum has a funny way of re-engaging you in teaching and connecting to what matters. I write this in part thinking of this funny group of stories.
And so, we teachers.....We show up, we assess the lay of the land and work towards the future. As I look out on the Day of the Teacher May 2007, in a time recognizing "The creativity in the Art of Teaching ", this year something tells me that the capacity of teachers to "get out and push" has probably defined the last year, as we have (many of us) struggled often under-valued, under-respected and perhaps diminished as creative and thinking within many processes that have felt at best "political" and at worst a gathering storm. And yet here we are, teachers together, with our metaphorical umbrellas and rain gear, tarps, our maps and boots, projects and yardsticks trying to guide the young through this hurricane into the calm day of future. Here we are. Guides. Beacons. Light. Here we are.
This year my children had, as ever, very good teachers, support, safety, curriculum, tests, tasks and sometimes, sometimes moments of inspiration. And it's hard to know exactly with teens what these inspiring lessons are, for the children hold so much close to the vest. But I do watch. I see the dedication to tasks, their concern to do good works, I see their events, their projects, the concerts, science events, awards. And I know teacher energy and teacher dedication put these things into place for them.
I'm incredibly grateful for public school and the opportunity to see my children grow their capacities and human gifts in that space where everyone is welcome. And no one is considered sorted for their money, race, religion, because like our country itself we create a microcosm, a school, to represent the kind of opportunity our country represents. A land of the free and brave. A place to come together, learn, work, achieve, share, make friends and work to understand one another so that we may live peaceful lives on our journey on earth.
I am deeply appreciative to public schools and to the teachers here in the Oxnard plain. And to you reading out in the world. You showed up. You make a difference.
My daughter Sylvia is graduating this year. It's almost more than I can address here the complexities of my feelings about her 12 years in our schools. I'm proud of her work, thankful for her instructors, aware of everything that has changed nationally in these times.
Central to my hope for Sophia, Luca and Sylvia was that they would attend the school in which I taught, work to do their best, and learn about their world through this process both our national greatness and to understand those that need our compassion. Understand our foibles , our unfairness, see dignity and humanity up close. I wanted my children to understand that among the finest people on earth are often those we discount, we project our pathologies upon. I wanted my children to look at the content of our character. I wanted my children to value their character, the active lexicon of love as a first line of response. I think they have had a phenomenal education in being human. I wanted them to grow to understand why I became a teacher, why we choose this work, and to see daily something I kind of thought of as "what really matters."
And I'm afraid, as great as they score, it isn't for me contained in a test measure. I value a test measure as an indicator of something. But I'm in it for the long haul. And that takes a lifetime to know and get the results back. But know, I think everyday children are being given bits of future 'stardust", inspiration.....I see them enough to know this work matters no matter how a teacher is scapegoated or a society is blinded by political rhetoric. Each day children are taking in our lessons.
We teach reading so that we can use the love and beauty of reading to work on our knowledge, our understanding, our ability to consider with story and with metaphorical constructs what our world is, to see new things, to communicate, to process and define, to become able to make our world a better place. To work out freedoms, peace, understanding. We read to know. We read to question. We read, therefore we are. And school brings us to those who help us reach for this. Inspiration.
We compute, do math, inquire, explore, invent, hypothesize, test, design so we can build our futures with the hope it is a better world, not only for us and our own but for the meek, the ones born to least advantaged situations. We cannot know if the medical advances, the science, the inventions can contain all of the unfairness and pain and suffering. But we can know that if we teach of the capacity for this, if we inspire it, believe it, work with this as our light, we will model it. We give hope.
And so.....I hope you know that we appreciate all you do, all you try to do, all you represent. You showed up, fought a good fight. You were here for children. Surely at the end of the day that matters. That's an artful and important kind of way of being in this world. I saw you here on the front line. Giving a hug and maybe reading a story.