It is a difficult time of year to say that emphatically, given the end of term sports, School musical (Guys and Dolls, starting next Wednesday at the McPherson Theatre), Senior Art Show (starting Monday at the McPherson), and all the tests and essays that are an inevitable part of the beginning of March. Actually, this past week or so I have definitely been doing more writing than reading.
I was able to say how much I like to read this morning to the Junior School students at Assembly. First I asked them what they liked to do when they had free time and could choose their own way of spending it. A couple of students said they like to draw; one girl said she liked to draw with her mother. A couple of boys said they liked to play video games. Practice basketball. Go rock-climbing. A couple of students did say reading. I asked if any of them liked music and got quite a few nods. I did share with them that although I liked drawing, no one else was likely to enjoy what I drew; it is a skill I lack. It isn’t just at the Junior School that I share these thoughts. Our Hinton Chair, Susan Stenson, who is teaching Senior English, has asked me to come in and talk about my reading with one of her classes, an event I look forward to. To bring it full circle, and include all three schools: last week, Middle School teacher Susan Vachon organized an event for students and parents featuring UVic professor Jocelyn Dimm, a specialist in youth and adolescent literature.
As the introduction on my Shelfari page says, “I am an incurable reader; if books were a drug, I would be in treatment.” Thankfully, books are at the other end of the pleasure spectrum, and I can indulge fearlessly. This weekend I do plan to update my Shelfari page, for those who are interested in what I have been reading. At the moment the book I am finishing is The Open Road, by Pico Iyer, who is normally a travel writer. This book, however, is a particularly personal account of the life of the Dalai Lama. Since the Dalai Lama was a family friend, and spent time in the author’s home when they were much younger, this book is a close and sympathetic rendering of the Dalai Lama’s life. I am nearly finished, and I look forward to choosing the next book; when I am choosing the next book I am like some fashionistas choosing their next pair of shoes.