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15 June 2016 @ 02:56 pm
Diving In  
Back in the days when I did not work year round, summer days were spent with my good fired, Lois Buckman. We would oil ourselves up (we did not know then what we know now about the foolhardiness of this action), climb into the floating lounge chairs and float lazily around the backyard pool (several houses ago) for hours. Occasionally, we would dive into the water to cool ourselves off. In between dives, we read. And read. And read. Mostly romances, sappy Harlequin books with Fabio-like models on the cover standing over a woman who was looking over her shoulder at an old mansion cloaked in fog, horror showing on her face. For a change of pace, it was horror: Stephen King, John Saul, Clive Barker. If it was frightening, Lois and I read it. We would swap titles when we were finished. That was summer reading.

And then? Well, Lois finished her MLS and I finished my EdD and we went to new campuses. We both moved north of Houston. And the books we read during weekends, holidays, and other breaks changed as well. Now, we were immersed in books for kids and tweens and teens. Truth be told, we had already begin reading these books as middle school ELAR teachers. Lois and I taught 8th grade ELAR in an open concept middle school (who ever though this was a good idea?). We taught next to one another and often, during DEAR time would hand the other a book with a passage marked or would whisper a passage from a book we were reading. The kids in both our classes were curious about our conversations. When they found out we were sharing book passages, they demanded to be in on the conversation. BEST. BOOKTALKS. EVER. And unplanned to boot.

During summers, we traded diving into pools with diving into books. We still do this. We read books, plunging into the story and being refreshed and revived by our reading. In the wake of the horrific events in Orlando, I have sought escape by diving into books. Yesterday at the office, I devoured more than a dozen picture books, one after the other. Today, I plunged "heartfirst" into a story of boy and his dog. I emerged, tears streaking my face, barely controlled sobs, and a wistful smile from recalling the love of Timminy and Maxi. The catharsis was healthy as well.

My choice of reading, my exposure to the sun, my spare time to float aimlessly has changed. What has remained the same is that opportunity to dive into a book, to swim among new characters, new situations, new settings. To emerge refreshed and ready to do it again. And again. And again.
 
 
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