Tag: Reading

Me and Doubting Me Have a Book Talk

Me:  Today I read aloud to two kids who were starting a book club book.  They’re reluctant readers, and I thought that if we did a little bit of a read-along, it might help them to get more  invested in the book.  

Doubting Me: Yeeeeahhh, and you just wrote about how much you miss reading aloud to a class.  Sounds like someone is doing a little rationalizing.

Me:  Well, the reason I said I loved read aloud was because I felt like I was inviting kids into the world of a book.  That’s what I was doing today.

Doubting Me:  Uh huh.  And did you even give them a chance to enter that world on their own?

Me:  Well, the book was at a level we thought they could navigate, but the print was really small, and I thought it might be a bit daunting.

Doubting Me:  Is that why you were stumbling over some words?

Me:  Yeah that, and I didn’t have my glasses.

Doubting Me:  So, how did it turn out?

Me:  I think it went pretty well.  P. made a prediction that Nick was going to show his father that he wasn’t a “cripple.” He also said, “I have a few things I’d like to say to that dad.”

Doubting Me:  Okay, that’s pretty good.  But what about C. How did he do?  

Me:  When I stopped reading and said I had to head to another class, he said, “Can you PLEASE keep reading?”

Doubting Me:  Right.  Isn’t that sort of a selective quote? 

Me: What do you mean? He really said that.

Doubting Me: Yes, but you’re also leaving out  something else that he said.

Me:  Selective quotes are a kind of author’s craft.  I think I’m allowed to do that.

Doubting Me:  Uh huh, but don’t forget, I was there, too.  I think you should say what he said right after, “Can you PLEASE keep reading?”

Me:  Fine.  He said, “Cuz I hate having to read it myself.”  But see, that doesn’t make for a very satisfying ending to this conversation.

Doubting Me:  Well, then maybe you should just say what all those crafty serial writers say.

Me: What’s that?

Doubting Me: Just say, “To be continued.” 

Sunshine

Keep your face always  toward the sunshine — and shadows will fall behind you.

-Walt Whitman

I walked out into the sunshine this morning.  The thermometer said 31 degrees, but it felt like spring.  I closed my eyes, turned my face toward the east, and soaked it in.  It felt like a feast.

He walked out of prison, off of death row, where he’d lived from age 29 to 59, sentenced to die for someone else’s crime  He looked toward the sky, considered his fate, and said, “The sun does shine.”

I’m listening to a book recommended by Jess, my colleague and fellow slicer.  It’s haunting.  At once heartbreaking and hopeful,  each session makes me face that tension between what’s wrong with our country and what’s right with some people; what seems challenging in my life and what’s truly challenging in others; our thirst for punishment and our need for mercy.

Stories like Anthony Ray Hinton’s need to be told and need to be heard.  They are the sunshine that reveals our flaws, the sunshine that heals our wounds, the sunshine that feeds our soul. In all ways, they are the sunshine our country needs.