You’re Doing It Right

For the first time in my life, I've started attending a weekly workout class. My friend, Erin was recently certified as a Revelation Wellness instructor and leads classes that focus on moving our bodies in joy. Of course, they're really much more structured than that, with kickboxing, dancing, yoga, and strength exercises. I come away … Continue reading You’re Doing It Right

Reframing How Interact with This World

There was a period in my twenties (and into my thirties) when I was part of three in-person book clubs. As a single and newly married person, this didn't pose a problem at all. I had time to read, our schedules were flexible, and I had the mental capacity to dig into big issues. Fast … Continue reading Reframing How Interact with This World

Changing the Way I Build My Library

This week my plan was (and still is) to focus on books of my college years and my twenties. I spent most of my twenties single and discovering life so these momentous phases link well together. Because of an unexpected family crisis, I was unable to write at the beginning of this week and this … Continue reading Changing the Way I Build My Library

When You Outgrow Books You Loved

One year in high school, my best friend and I decided to take "Independent Reading Seminar." I thought this would be a good way to catch up on reading outside of class. What we didn't realize is that it was an English classed aimed at students who didn't read. The goal of the class was to … Continue reading When You Outgrow Books You Loved

The Beginning of Social Justice Awareness

Yesterday, I mentioned a librarian who made space for me to dig deeper into the books we were reading as a class. Another influential person was her assistant (whose name, twenty-some years later I can't remember!) This paraprofessional was always recommending young adult books grounded in social justice. I read about Kurdish sisters fleeing to … Continue reading The Beginning of Social Justice Awareness

Stretching My Thinking

As an avid reader, I entered eighth grade with most of the language arts curriculum already read. Luckily for me, I had a teacher and a librarian who recognized the fact that I was a self-motivated learner. So, while the rest of the class read The Diary of a Young Girl, I went to the library … Continue reading Stretching My Thinking

The Book That Changed My Life

The first time I read To Kill a Mockingbird, I was much too young for its themes. I read it and connected to Scout as a young girl. But this book grabbed my attention and I kept reading. In high school, I reread it and dug into the injustice. As a new teacher, I reread it … Continue reading The Book That Changed My Life

When Literary Friends Teach Life Lessons

This week, I'm remembering books I read during my middle school and high school years. I was incredibly fortunate to have librarians and teachers throughout my education who handed me an incredible array of books that made me think about my own life as well as exposed me to experiences that were vastly different from … Continue reading When Literary Friends Teach Life Lessons

The Courage to Expand Horizons

I had to round out this week of childhood favorites with one I read over and over again, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Set at the turn of the twentieth century, the story follows Francie Nolan through childhood and adolescence. Even though this book starts around the same time period and the protagonist … Continue reading The Courage to Expand Horizons

From Homemaker to Social Activist

Recently I found out that Frank had been putting my career as homemaker on our tax forms for the past six years. When I found out, I did not love that title. In his defense, apparently, this is an accepted phrase that won't get your return flagged by the IRS. I pushed back against this antiquated term … Continue reading From Homemaker to Social Activist