Thing 7b: Check This Out

Let me start by saying that I don’t know how people find the time to write blogs, read others’ blogs, comment on blogs, computersmaintain wikispaces, surf the net, surf the net and actually read interesting sites/articles, apply new technology to respective industries, read the newspaper – online or from the front doorstep, do laundry, feed the dog, make dinner, pay bills, plan their next teaching lesson or unit, read interesting and challenging literature, pray and meditate, exercise (more running with dogthan bending over to pull on socks), play with their children, take their children to dentist appointments, bathe, spend time with their spouses – and how about actually spending meaningful time with their spouses, and sleep.  Do any of you sleep?

Whew!  Just needed to get that out there.  Having dumped that, as you are choosing between the many activities of your day, check out this blog on the value of reading.  I maintain a subscription to Successful Teaching by Pat Hensley, which I have found to be a blog of substance consistently.  She comments on another blog entitled Encountering the Other:  How Literature Will Save the World.

Extraordinary post. I had not previously recognized that particular benefit from reading which was identified – the connection to and understanding of others. As I reflect on it, reading, and reading literature specifically, certainly does engage us with others across geography, chronology, and culture.

Our kids – and now I understand many adults – are becoming self-absorbed due to the nature of and time spent engaging in social media (Facebook, twitter). Moreover, the absorption appears to be very superficial. I recently heard that 25% of people who are on Facebook actually update their page before even getting out of bed in the morning. Seriously, what’s to update?

Reading is difficult. Thinking – and I mean really being engaged in the task of thinking – is difficult. Both require exertion. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rajarshi/3729332748/The author of “Encountering . . . ” makes a commitment  to engage herself and her students in the tasks of reading  and thinking about what they’re reading.  I’ve decided to make a more concerted effort in this area myself – and once you’ve read these blogs, I suspect you will do the same (in between doing the laundry, paying the bills, exercising, making dinner . . . ).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/angelaypablo/860181962/Our computers by Aranarth

http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrid/4151899795/ running with dog by AstridWestvang

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rajarshi/3729332748/ magic of books by Rishi S

2 thoughts on “Thing 7b: Check This Out

  1. Thank you so much for linking, Trish, and for leaving a comment on my post. I agree that as time passes, the world around us tends to foster, more and more, our natural tendency to be self-absorbed. I think reading counteracts that to some degree, not only because it connects us to different cultures and realities, but because it gives us the opportunity to see the world from inside someone else’s mind…I appreciate your thoughts on this!

  2. Your post led me to think about a recent conversation I had. I was substituting last week in a one-on-one situation with a high school student who needed to catch up on a lot of work that he was behind in. I was trying to work on our on-line course when he didn’t need my help. When I needed to take a break, I would get out the novel I was reading and read a few pages. His question caught me off-guard: “Why do you read books; it’s so much easier to watch the movie? I hate to read!” I told him I had a personal policy to not even see a movie until I’d read the book because that way I could use my own imagination to picture the characters, settings and events. Typically the movies don’t live up to the richness of the book. He could not understand taking the time to read a novel! Some of that is 15 year old boy, but a lot of it is that generation and their need for making the least effort to see things immediately. I encouraged him to read things that were of interest to him. He said he would look into some Motocross magazines. At least that’s a start.

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