Friday, September 14, 2012

Reading Along

I've been putting off writing here because I was waiting on some good inspiration. However, I'm reading this great book (thank you Norman Constantine) called "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg which has inspired me not to do that. Writing the worst garbage in the whole world is still better than not writing at all. Therefore, I'm catching up on posts today. They probably won't be good, but you can't get better without practicing. I'm a freaking teacher, after all, and I've been setting a terrible example for my students (who hopefully don't read this blog, but still). Practice what you preach people!

School has begun. In a circuitous way, this has led me to think about language. I had a fascinating discussion with a coworker, Jaquie, today about language. Jaquie is a math person, and she only recently found a passion for reading (math history books, so not my thing). Together, we discussed oral language and change in language and code switching. I had a moment a few years ago that I shared with her, and I'd like to share it with you now in narrative form.

At dinner. With the bf's family. Brother, sister, Mom and Dad. Leg twitching.
As conversations go, they make it easy. A family of artists and you a writer.
Reading currently: Sense and Sensibility, "How to be an Other Woman," Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and a Jodi Piccoult
Brother rolls his eyes. Cock your head. Furrow your brows.
"I hate reading."
Three words. So much baggage. You could cry at those words. You could scream and yell. You could glare at him in shock.
Smart kid. Really smart kid. Creative and funny and full of facts about everything. With a whole family of readers and artists.
"When you read, you see pictures of what is going on in the story..."
"I see words."
"Just words."
Never. Never in your life.
Wait. Remember. Go back. When did it feel that way for you? Six or seven? Younger?
How is it? How is it that you never thought of this before?
If you couldn't see the story like a movie in your head, floating by as the words are translated into your working memory and then dumped, would you even like to read at all.
No. The answer is no.
Brother only sees words. He translates and translates.


  1. That makes me sad. Reading has forever been a a way to teleport into the writers world for me.

  2. But there are many for whom reading does not come so easy.