Book-ing an adventure

Outside the door of my classroom is my favorite quote:
“There’s no way I’ll ever be an English teacher.”
I said it when I was in high school, because seriously, who wants to teach reading and writing to high school kids who don’t want to read, don’t care about writing and are suddenly concerned about neck flexibility and eyesight when it’s time for a test?
So, I give a nod to the Big Guy upstairs, chuckling at the irony of my current occupation as a high school English teacher.
Though I’ve taught for more than 10 years, I haven’t committed to the stereotype. Believe it or not, when I go home each night I don’t put on a corduroy jacket, sit straight-spined in a wooden chair by the window and sip brandy while reading Walt Whitman’s songs or about Robert Frost’s snowy evenings.
I prefer John Gierach’s “Sporting Life” column in the back of Fly Rod & Reel after a hike or trip to the river myself.
The point of reading is to derive some sort of enjoyment. It won’t replace the high of a steelhead take on the swing or netting a king before a sea lion gets to it, but it’s the opportunity to stimulate parts of the brain not used in simple pleasures.
Reading isn’t always pleasurable in a happily-ever-after sort of way. With two classes reading “Of Mice and Men” and two reading “Fahrenheit 451,” I’m re-reading about the myth of the American Dream while I’m getting seconds of dystopian literature.
We killed Lennie twice within a few hours. Students cried. Not many, but some, because it’s sad even though it had to end that way.
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