Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Active Reading

Three of my favorite nearby girls and I are getting together to form a book club. (Angie, when you move to the Twin Cities area, do you want to join?) I've never been in a book club before; I always thought they were an excuse to get together and gossip.

Perhaps this is so. I enjoy the company of these ladies so much; it will be a nice reason to have regular get togethers.

But my hope is to talk about books, about reading with some intelligent companions as well. I love talking about literature with my Brit Lit class and my colleagues, but it's different when there isn't the professional aura surrounding... different when there isn't the pressure of formal discussion, of grades, of reading a "smart book" in the hallway as kids are passing. (Would it be such a crime to read an escape novel? Once in a while I have... Heck, we're human.)

Chris, Michelle, Kelly, and I will gather in a few weeks to discuss The Year of Yes by Maria Dahvana Headley, selected by Miss Chris. Each month, we'll rotate--pick a book, pick a location, run the discussion--I'm glad someone else stepped up. :) It's a lot of pressure to dictate what other people read.

Irony: I pick out stories for students to read all the time.

Response: Often it's part of the curriculum. But it's different picking something you want to teach. It's another thing to pick something you think might enrich the lives of friends.

Something fun: I found these cards I might order from a favorite bookstore Husband's mother initially pointed out.

Something else fun: Saint Paul Library's 125 Top Books of the Past 125 Years.

Next school year is a big question mark for me. It could be called wonderful or frightening. I know there was a time when I might have panicked at the timeline of my current position at Local High School, the expiration that is quickly approaching. There has been discussion of shifting at this school, and I have a feeling there will be openings in the next few years, perhaps ones in which I can easily slip into once the time is right. And I have my list of applications I've been working through for graduate school.

But there are things I do know for certain: there are ways we can always continue learning, if we choose. I am lucky, with Intermedia, with The Loft, with the Anderson Center. I am lucky, with good friends who teach me new things all of the time.

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