April 7, 2011

Transitioning back into reading.

If you follow me on Twitter, or stop by on a regular basis, you may have noticed things have been a little quiet.

I recently mentioned my crazy reading habits here. Over the last two weeks or so, I have been feeling contemplative in regards to reading and intellectual stimulation. It's the one part of my day-to-day that I am really missing. I'm sure you're asking yourself, "What!?! No intellectual stimulation!? She's an ENGLISH TEACHER!"

Yes, I fully acknowledge that I probably pry into classic pieces of literature more frequently than most, and I probably discuss subject-verb agreement far too often, but this is stuff I already know. This is why I'm teaching it. Long story short, I love teaching high school because I can teach my students how to think. To me, being an independent, critical thinker is the most important skill a young adult can have when leaving high school.

The twist, though, is that I teach them to think like me: the teacher. I'm already there, I don't have to do the heavy lifting anymore. Sure, I have challenging and extremely rewarding conversations and discussions with my students, but all the while, they're still teenagers and I'm still the one with a degree under my belt.

Reading has been the crux of my identity my entire life. I love to read. I'm not much of a writer, but I love to read, interpret, and analyze. This is why I loved English, loved school, and loved the idea of helping others get to this point as well. However, I have had an incredible struggle with balancing reading for "me" and reading for "school" when I get the chance.

For the last year or so, you wouldn't have been able to pay me to pick up a book for pleasure (unless it was during summer break), because it just felt like work. I realized I was using the time I would usually be reading as my ultimate crochet time. Yes, I love crochet, but I never really felt like it fulfilled that void, so I would stay up later, crochet more, and research more about crochet and yarns. It's a lot of fun, but not what I was looking to do with my mind. Plus, I was still buying books whenever I saw something that interested me, in hopes I would settle back down into my old reading habits.

I have been feeling really uncomfortable in my shell and spent a lot of time meditating about this idea in the car, and I finally realized that I just needed to get back into reading. It challenges me and excites me all the same. I couldn't think of anything else in my life that I lacked or missed, it was simply the personal engagement with a text that is rich and full of inspiration (and maybe even provacative if I'm lucky ;)).

So, here's to my transition back into reading, and hopefully, back into myself!
I swung by the bookstore Tuesday after work and searched around for what felt right. As an avid NPR listener, The Help, by Kathryn Sockett, has been all over the airwaves. I have seen it floating around various laps in airports or at school on teacher's desks. So, I picked it up to see what all the fuss is about. I also picked up Malcom Gladwell's The Tipping Point, for the sake that he is, to me at least, one of the most interesting, scientific-yet-relevant, writers out there.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Thehelpbookcover.jpg

Also, I thought I would mention, Cory and I watched an incredible documentary last night focusing on origami. It goes beyond the paper crane (of course) and is truly an incredible view into the life of artists, scientists, and mathematicians who fold paper on a regular basis. (BONUS: It's on Netflix streaming!) Definitely a must-see!


Do you have any book or documentary recommendations?
I want LOADS of them!



  1. "Reading has been the crux of my identity my entire life." - what a powerful statement and one that really resonates with me ... I think it's great that you're getting back into and hope it can be something wonderful for you again.

  2. I am so glad you mentioned that documentary!! I watched it a while ago & never caught the name. I loved it because I love math/science (even majored in math before art) but I am way more a creative/artistic person. So when it combined both my mind was blown! I am so analytic... I can't wait to watch it again on netfilx!

    Hope your reading list expands & you get back to yourself! Enjoy!