I woke up in the middle of the night. I was dreaming about trick or treating with my sister Maryellen on Halloween. She was still alive, and we were having so much fun, talking, laughing, and saying Boo to everyone we met. It was as clear as the back of my hand. I could feel my hand in hers. I could not go back to sleep. While the dream was beautiful waking to her not being here hurts deeply. I went online looking for news, but found none. I ended up on the CNN News webpage, and came across this "Readers sound off: Books that changed your lives."> http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/31/living/readers-favorite-ya-childhood-books/index.html?hpt=hp_t5 <
I started thinking about the books that make me who I am. I remember reading John Irving's "A Prayer for Owen Meany" with some trouble eight graders. It was the only all boys group I ever worked with. They were the greatest group of boys. I can't remember who cried more when Owen Meany died, them or me.
Some say working with socially emotionally disturbed boys is a challenge, but to me they're just boys. What do you say to a young boy whose mother dies from an overdose? I'm sorry only carries you so far. You crumble inside everyday knowing his pain. You do everything possible to make school better. You go on with the show. You wrap all that hurt inside. You bury it deeply, and you go on teaching.
I remember the lines that taught us books can heal that year.
Who will read Owen Meany to our boys in this education reform rush to lessen narrative readings under the Common Core? Tell me again what the heck do Student Learning Objectives have to do with reading?
If you want to know what song this walking man is listening to through his tears...it's Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AscPOozwYA8 <