Monday, April 23, 2012

Slice of Life - Reading Funk


 Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers

I love reading. The fact that I am a reader is so closely associated with who I am that many people ask me what I’ve read lately before asking how I’m doing. You know, the normal, “How are you doing?” question that you automatically respond with, “Fine. How are you?” I usually get that AFTER being asked, “Read anything good lately?” Which is great, most of the time. Except when you are in a funk. And I am owning up here, I am absolutely in a reading funk.

You would think this would depress me, cause me to search for answers, to panic, and more. But I embrace this crazy funkalicious mood I’m in. The reason for that is simple – like most things in life I see a teaching moment buried here. See, as much as I adore reading I think my students believe I read more than I actually do. I think they probably think I go home, read, stop – make dinner, read at the dinner table, clear the table, read another book, lay down with the boys, read, go to bed, read. That is their description of my life. And while I read a lot, it isn’t quite that much. So for me to share with them that I’m in a reading funk? Powerful stuff my friends.

My plan this week is to share with them my problem and talk together about why I think I’m feeling this way and how I plan on getting out of it. My goal is that maybe some of them will see themselves in me. But also, I want them to see that I recognize that right now I’m not in the mood to read and that I plan on working to change it. I think that is a lesson they need too.

So what are my thoughts about why I’m in this funk? Many things:
·      Too many books I want to read so that I feel paralyzed by the choices.
·      Books I HAVE to read but really don’t want to right now. (I’m looking at you my #nerdbery friends.)
·      The end of the year with due dates for grad school, projects for school, and a plethora of items on the “to do” list that are making me panic.
·      The fact that I’ve read some of the best books of my life in the past few months and nothing seems like it can measure up in comparison.

Finally – and what I think my students need to see – how do I plan on getting out of this?
·      Try and get some items on that “to do” list done so I can relax a bit.
·      Read some “easy” books (picture books, graphic novels) so that I feel like I’m making my way through some of my stacks.
·      Give myself permission to abandon books that I’m not enjoying. (I do this for my students but have a hard time doing that for myself.)
·      Set aside a set amount of time each day to read to get back in the routine.

How about you? What causes you to fall into a reading funk and how do you get out of it? I’m hoping this book will pull me out – I’ve been reading it for a few days and enjoy it but need to devote more time into diving into the pages. Hopefully tonight will be the start of a better reading week.  

6 comments:

  1. It's a terrific idea to talk with your students. I feel that they get so busy too that even the avid readers are just too tired after some kind of sports practice, then a late dinner & homework that there's little energy left to read. What I do? I just keep reading a little at a time on something, but the comment that spoke most to me is that we've read those really good books earlier & not much seems to compare (Wonder, The Monster Calls, The Fault In Our Stars). I did just read The Lions of Little Rock & liked it, but it was not a race through book. Maybe that's part of it. Anyway, best to you in the reading life, Katherine. Perhaps your students will have good ideas!

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  2. The good news is all funks do pass, with time. I think it is wonderful that you will share this with your students. There will be some who need to know that sometimes one needs to take a short break but also how to get back into the swing.

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  3. I fall into a reading funk because sometimes I just have too much to read, and feel as though I'll never catch up. But how wonderful that you are turning your funk into a learning experience for your students!

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  4. I feel like I've been in a reading funk all winter. Since this running thing started. I feel like I don't have the big chunks of time to read and also to exercise. I know that sounds crazy but I haven't figured out how to build it all into my life. Let me know how to fix this...please!

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  5. I can totally relate to your conundrum. It is a challenge to maintain balance during the busy times of the year...hmm...that's pretty much the whole school year! Reading and exercise - two things that I crave, but don't always fit in the balance. I like your idea of accomplishing some items on your "to-do" list to ease the stress and also the teachable moment. Good luck.

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  6. I love the being real with our students aspect of your post. It is so important that they see we are real people and that _____ (fill in the blank) doesn't come easy for us. I also can completely relate to the idea of abandoning books. I have no problem letting my students do it, but it is very difficult for me to do it. (I think I have worked my way up to three books in my lifetime.) And, we go through seasons. A season of 'reading funk' is not the worst season there is. Hang in there!

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