I just found out that there are bead shows right here in Nashville! Isn't it strange how discovering new things leads to a whole world you never knew existed? Each new thing has a history, a vocabulary, a body of literature, art,customs, traditions and eccentricities. Fascinating! I've watched this discovery process in my own children and in my students but never really thought about its significance. Let's say you suddenly start to notice bugs. You discover that a particular bug interests you more than others. You look for a book or article on this bug and find that it figured prominently in the history of ancient Egypt. So you research further and find that this bug has been painted and sculpted and written about through the ages. There are societies and conventions devoted to knowledge of this bug. There's a specialized vocabulary devoted to this bug's life. You find that there is a social networking site for devotees of this bug. Bonanza! You now have a reason to wake up each day. You want to explore all the possibilities of this amazing bug. That's how I feel about beads.