Dagaz: New Beginnings

The dagaz rune is the rune given to Magnus on his room key at the Hotel Valhalla. It symbolizes new beginnings. I think this is a fitting way to start this post since this is the follow up to “My Reading Journey” post.

In August of 2007, I started a new beginning. This August I will also start a new beginning, as I add graduate instructor to my titles. 10 years after I first started classes at UPenn, I’ll return to teach a secondary ELA methods class at GSE. I’ve been back on campus since graduation, but when I returned for the instructor institute in late June, it was like returning home. It truly is a new beginning for me. From being told I wouldn’t get be accepted into the doctoral program to now being a teacher at America’s oldest university, it has been a road I only dreamed of.

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A Reader’s Journey

This summer I’ve participated in two book study groups. During June, I had the pleasure of studying Teaching Reading with YA Literature: Complex Texts, Complex Lives by Jennifer Buehler with a group of very smart, very thoughtful educators. Starting the end of June and continuing through late August, I’m participating in the Book Love Summer Book Club. We are currently studying Disruptive Thinking: Why How We Read Matters by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst. I have the pleasure of studying with an equally smart and thoughtful group of educators. I love that the conversations have pushed my thinking. It’s caused me to reflect on my practice and the practices in the field. I’ve thought about why we do what we do in the classroom. I’ve thought about how my reading practices have shaped my teaching practices.

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Desire to Understand

mys·ter·y1
ˈmist(ə)rē/
noun
1.
something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain.
“the mysteries of outer space”
synonyms: puzzle, enigma, conundrum, riddle, secret, problem, unsolved problem
“his death remains a mystery”

2.
a novel, play, or movie dealing with a puzzling crime, especially a murder.
synonyms: thriller, murder mystery, detective story/novel, murder story, crime novel;
informalwhodunit
“reading a classic mystery”

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Baked in a Beautiful Pie

“But people forgive each other. It’s like a dance.”

“I wish I knew how to do that dance,” Adri said.

“Oh,” Lily shook her head. “I don’t think it’s that you can’t do it. I think you’re thinking the whole thing is a lose-lose. Like, what if someone actually likes you? That causes all sorts of problems. Then each time you see them, you have to try and keep them. And then even if you manage that, you lose. You end up losing. Even if you go through all the work of accepting someone and occasionally looking like a fool in front of them and then figuring out if they can accept you and you can forgive each other for everything you screw up, you lose them eventually.”

Posted in Coming of Age, Read the World | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Then Tell the Wind & Fire Where to Stop

I worked with a math teacher who would often say when things weren’t going to be easy or fun, “Well, it won’t be boring.” The past two years have been far from boring. Since 2015, the US political scene has, at times, resembled a three-ring circus, at other times a boys’ club, and at other times a oligarchy. Local politics have become a microcosm of the national and international stage. I have turned to reading to escape. And then some of my favorite books have begun to appear eerily prescient, so I’ve turned back to politics to try to escape. I’ve watched Hilary Clinton be referred to as a nasty woman. I’ve listened to Mitch McConnell explain why Elizabeth Warren was silenced at Jeff Sessions nomination hearing. I’ve watched Kamala Harris get “scolded” for not being courteous enough to a witness. And when I needed an escape from politics and reading wasn’t cutting it, I found solace in my literacy training. My degree and research has caused me to look at words and actions and examine how these things shape identity and help build agency.

Posted in Read the World | Tagged as:
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