Time. Time was I read this to my high school kids (and my middle school kids before that). Did for years. They loved it. I loved it. It was a shared, valued experience. And then, I stopped.
It takes time to read a book aloud. And time is precious. It seems we have all the time in the world when we first venture down the path in September with months ahead on the horizon, but, in truth, we don’t, and as the days fill with work and as state testing looms large, time fades quickly and what once started off as a pleasant walk soon becomes a panicked march toward the end. And so, we have to make decisions about the time we have, and often, those decisions require us to bend to the will of external factors (state testing, etc.), forcing us to let otherwise less test-like things fall to the side. In Freak, I let an old friend fall to the side.
That was years ago, but recent events have reawakened my memory and longing for my old friend. First, World Read Aloud Day day caught my attention.
Unfortunately, I learned about it too late and was caught unprepared (won’t happen again), but it brought back fond memories, and I reminisced about Freak.
Second, just yesterday, a Twitter peep Scott Hazeu tagged me in a tweet that challenged me to tweet out my own great book recommendation, and of course, immediately, Freak the Mighty came to mind. So, I tweeted it out, which then gave me a chance to respond to another Twitter peep Marian Dingle, setting the stage for me to defend my old, abandoned friend.
“Read Aloud. Change the World!” urges the World Read Aloud Day promotion up above. Change the world. Can something so simple change the world? And how would one know? Not sure if there is empirical evidence for such things. That seems reserved for things found in a standardized world. But where one fails to find or follow the empirical emperor, there is always another measure to consider. One’s gut. I have no data to defend my decision to read aloud to my kids. I cannot say with certainty that it changes the world. But I can say it touches the world, it connects the world. When I read Freak to my kids, we connected. We laughed. We dreamed. We cried. We wondered. And though those things will not find a place in the standardized world, there is always a place for them in the humanized world. My gut knows that. My gut also knows that I miss my old friend. May well be I’ll have to pay a visit. Always been hard for me not to listen to my gut.
Along today’s trail we will…
…begin with Smiles and Frowns.
…finish and begin our analysis of The Book Thief.
…reflect in our Journey Journals.
…end with a Sappy Sy Rhyme.
Happy Tuesday, all.
Do. Reflect. Do Better.