Thursday, June 8, 2017

Day 385 - Falling Back in Love with Reading

11:53 a.m.

I'm sitting at my desk.
I should be grading papers.
Instead I'm clicking on emails from book bloggers and reading what they are reading and recommending this summer :)  

I teach English...so I have more than enough reading material.
For the last year or so, I've struggled some, however, with reading the material my students' produce.
I've struggled so much that I've even wondered a time or two if maybe it was time for me to move on to the next professional phase in my life.

It's not the students' fault.
They resist the very things I long for in their essays..thinking, analyzing, evaluating, coming up with new ideas, using their voices, speaking up, telling their stories.
When I was in grad school,  we frequently discussed the space that composition occupies. 
That space is between those who think of comp as a discipline and those who think of comp as a tool to use for other disciplines. 
Can you guess within which camp I lie?
I'm an over-analyzer...so I have no choice to follow composition as a discipline.
I can go into pages of justification for my stance, and I have the research to back it up...but that's not what my blog is about...and honestly, I just don't want to have that conversation. 

12:07 p.m.

My last student just left the lab.  
She's having trouble keeping up with the summer pace...smashing 15-17 weeks worth of writing into 4 weeks. 
I myself would have trouble with that pace.
I work with them as much as I can on an individual basis as long as they are making progress.
I've learned this summer to arrive before class starts
And stay after class ends. 
That's a lot easier to do in the summer than fall and spring when I have many more classes happening back to back.
But then leave when I'm supposed to.
And every student has an opportunity to speak with me privately if he/she needs to.

12:11
I have a backlog of books to review.  
I've read mostly non-fiction during my first year of recovery.
Every single day that I was trying to keep my head above the water, what I needed most was Truth.
After I passed my one year mark, I still need Truth and still spend a portion of my day in a quiet time studying that Truth...but I've also found myself wavering a bit.
Some of that wavering comes from cleaning bookshelves. 
We may or may not be selling our house soon, so we're in the clean up, fix-it up mode right now.
As I clean, I have run across many books on those shelves that I seriously forgot that I had.
Books I wanted to read.
Books I still want to read.
I can't describe how that made me feel.
It's like Diane Lane in "Under the Tuscan Sun" when she realizes "she's still got it"...



I could and did read before I ever entered school...I grew up surrounded by reading material and was never once discouraged from reading by my parents.  
Books calm me.
I love the smell.
I love the way they look.
I'm a library fanatic...when I go, I'm content to just wander
They are me.
Always have been.

I picked up The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake off those shelves on a whim the other day and read it in two days.


I picked up Simply from Scratch next.


I may or may not finish it.  I'm going to give it one more chapter and see where it leads me.
Life is too short and I have too many books on my shelf that need to be read.  I won't be wasting time on books I don't feel.

I think I'm back, reader friends.