What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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UNSOLVED: One specific book > Book excerpted in 2000 SAT test. Memoir (?) of someone giving up a degree as a doctor to become a shepherd.

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drowningmermaid | 126 comments So there I was, 18, taking the SAT test... back in 2000.

And one of the passages in it struck me as EXCELLENT, and I REALLY wanted to know what else happened.

It was a man (presumably), reflecting on potentially changing his career before it ever really began. He had just completed studying to become a doctor, society had invested in him, but he watched the sheepdogs running down the cliff and he was immediately in love. Drawn deeply to throwing it all away to watch the dogs run the sheep. I think he's impressed by the precision and orderliness of it all. I don't think the excerpt really said what his decision was going to be.

But, of course, you're not allowed to take any notes with you out of the testing area, and my brain was sufficiently fried by that point to be able to remember some stray bit of info like "new book to read." I've always wondered what that book was...


message 2: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 152 comments Disclaimer: I know absolutely nothing about the SAT test, being not american, but I hate to leave a post entirely unanswered.

That said, in the two countries where I've taken such standardised tests (New Zealand and Sweden, for the record), these kinds of tests are publicly available after some years, as they are quasi-governmental organizations and fall under official documents laws for public access. In Sweden it's as short as 3 years on some of them, and you can simply call them up and get a copy (for a nominal fee). It's certainly worth giving the SAT administrators a call or an email. Even if you can't get the test itself, it might be a trivial job for someone there to look it up for you (or it might not, but worth a try, I would think.)

Also, some of my kids teachers have copies of several years tests, and use them as test-prep material for current students. So it might be worth calling up your high school and asking there too, particularly if any teachers you had a good relationship with are still there.


message 3: by SparksofEmber (new)

SparksofEmber | 945 comments The Official SAT Study Guide (College Board) contains real, previously administered tests. Maybe go to a bookstore and check the book? See if it has the passage? And I agree with Krazykiwi. Try calling. It can't hurt!


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) Oh I hope you find it, or someone remembers it. Please bump this every month or two until they mystery is solved!


message 5: by She (new)

She Reads | 110 comments I searched for this, I would like to know now too :)


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) drowningmermaid, here's a bump for summer. Come back in a couple months and bump it again, ok?


drowningmermaid | 126 comments Hey, thanks!


message 8: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (notemily) | 478 comments Ha, I tried searching "doctor becomes shepherd" and I got a bunch of Lost and Grey's Anatomy sites (doctors NAMED Shepherd/Shephard).


drowningmermaid | 126 comments Ha, I think I remember coming up against that same problem.


message 10: by Michele (new)

Michele | 2359 comments Won't it be nice when Google gets smart enough that you can do things like "shepherd(NOT persname)" or "apple(NOT computer)" ?


message 11: by drowningmermaid (new)

drowningmermaid | 126 comments Michele wrote: "Won't it be nice when Google gets smart enough that you can do things like "shepherd(NOT persname)" or "apple(NOT computer)" ?"

Yeah. I was having a lot of trouble the other day with matryoshka (NOT anime).


message 12: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 152 comments FYI Google does (always has)

matroyshka -anime
anything -site:wikipedia.org is one of my favourites


message 13: by Michele (new)

Michele | 2359 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "FYI Google does (always has)

matroyshka -anime
anything -site:wikipedia.org is one of my favourites"


Yes, it can exclude things, but that only allows you to exclude specific words or sites. My example was more abstract -- I want to see all occurrences of the word "shepherd" where it is NOT a person's name, or "apple" where it does NOT refer to a computer. I don't know any search engine that can do that (yet).


message 14: by drowningmermaid (new)

drowningmermaid | 126 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "FYI Google does (always has)

matroyshka -anime
anything -site:wikipedia.org is one of my favourites"


Just try typing that into the google images search. See what you get.


message 15: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 55 comments This sounds like Jon Katz, who writes about his life on Bedlam Farm in upstate New York. To my knowledge, he never studied medicine, but he worked as a reporter in NYC before moving to the country. He has owned a number of working border collies and Australian shepherds and described his experiences in A Dog Year (2002) and at least a dozen other books. Your SAT excerpt may be from Running to the Mountain: A Midlife Adventure, published in 2000.


message 16: by Westcoast_girl (new)

Westcoast_girl | 157 comments Another guess if Kathy's doesn't fit:
I'm not sure if this book has an SAT excerpt, but the summary sounds similar: Far Afield (it's on my to-read list)


message 17: by drowningmermaid (new)

drowningmermaid | 126 comments Hey, thanks! I'll have to check these out.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) Here's a free bump for fall. Come back in a couple of months and bump again, ok? Otherwise, when we do housekeeping on the threads, we might conclude you're no longer seeking the book, and will move this thread to the Abandoned folder.


message 19: by Westcoast_girl (new)

Westcoast_girl | 157 comments Yes, and I'm curious about whether or not my suggestion turned out to be the book! :)


message 20: by drowningmermaid (new)

drowningmermaid | 126 comments Thanks!

I looked at all of the titles recommended... and none of them seem to fit... :( Still looking! (The Kaysen book does sound awfully interesting, though.)


message 21: by Arielle (new)

Arielle Masters | 252 comments Could it have been a James Herriot book? Vet writing about animals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_H...


message 22: by drowningmermaid (new)

drowningmermaid | 126 comments Arielle wrote: "Could it have been a James Herriot book? Vet writing about animals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_H..."


I really doubt it. This was about leaving college training to become a doctor in order to herd sheep... I could check out his book though.


message 23: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 16953 comments Still looking for this one?


message 24: by Becca (new)

Becca (beccalikesbooks) | 2209 comments This website has SAT papers from 2001-present - you could always drop the author an email and ask if they happen to have the 2000 paper, or know how to access it?


message 25: by She (new)

She Reads | 110 comments That is a brilliant idea Becca! I can't wait to find out what this story is!


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