The ABC’s of Me
First of all, I must clarify and correct something that I posted about yesterday. What you see below is the statue that my father so eloquently called the "giant hemorrhoid." My friend, Lynn, commented to tell me that one of her relatives had been commissioned to make a statue that symbolized the marble flowing up from the ground (I failed to mention the marble quarry in Sylacauga). The other statue must have been made after we left, because as I pulled up the picture below of said statue in front of the library, I knew that was it.
As I pulled up this picture, I also got my B topic for the day...Books.
You see, my love affair with literature began when we moved to Alabama. I had always enjoyed reading, but when we moved, it became a defense mechanism. I was and am almost painfully shy and insecure about meeting new people. While I was thrown into small town southern life, it took a while before I felt like I really fit in, and in the meantime, there were many many hours spent in my room, laid across my pink shag carpet, book in hand. Once I did have my group of friends, I was hooked, and I continued through my childhood and adolescence, nose planted firmly in a book. In fact, one summer, I read through the entire teenage section of the library in alphabetical order. I devoured Nancy Drew, the Bobsey Twins, Judy Blume, and anything and everything by Beverly Cleary.
All through grade school, I read through the grade level books and SRA's by October and was left to read whatever I wanted. When I got to sixth grade, I met the woman who both terrified me and sparked my interest in literature even more: Penelope Moore.
Ms. Moore was the accelerated reading teacher and she challenged us to read as many Newberry Books as we could. To this day, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Egypt Game, From the Mixed Up Files of Basil D. Frankweiler, and Jacob I Have Loved bring back such sweet memories. I even bought them for my own children to read, and was sorely disappointed when they wouldn't even try to read them, preferring Harry Potter instead.
As a teacher, teaching reading is my strength. I have over 1000 books in my classroom library. There are a few special ones that I keep in a special place, but for the most part, it is a raggedy collection--old childhood books, books from Goodwill and yard sales and thrift stores, and books donated to me by students. But that isn't why most of them are well worn. It's because they are well loved and well read....by 6 year olds. What joy it brings to my heart to send them out of first grade with a love of reading.
As a woman, reading has been my constant. Through moves, through children, through a divorce. I finish each book, thinking that I could never be transported like that again, only to immediately be sucked in again with the beginning of a new chapter.
My first grade class chipped in and got me a Nook Color for the end of the year gift, and I have been reading some on that this summer. And while I enjoy the technology--hey, you don't need a flashlight to read in bed!--I miss the feel of a book. The experience of a book. The going into the book store or library (which I cannot go in ever again because I owe $50 in late fees) and losing myself for hours, pouring over the shelves. The crinkly sound of a library book and the feel of well worn pages. The feel of it in my hands.
Speaking of which....
Off to Nantucket Island...
in my latest book!