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Good things come in threes

November 26, 2012

The last few weeks have been my most productive weeks since leaving the university life behind. Weekday mornings or afternoons were spent teaching at my local high school. If I was going to teach in the afternoon, then mornings were spent running and reading; if I was going to teach in the morning, then afternoons were spent writing and tutoring; evenings were always spent making lesson plans, organizing my library, and of course, reading everything in sight.

The week before last was absolutely, positively wonderful. I managed to read three books! It was awesome.

The week started out with “Anne of Green Gables”, by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I had read this book when I was at a mere age of eight, and at that age, the only thing I was interested in was Titanic and how much I wanted to be like Celine Dion when I grew up (more on this later). When I picked up that book twelve years later, the only scene that was still fresh in my mind was of Mrs. Rachel Lynde, sitting in her rocking chair by the window, watching a dressed-up Matthew Cuthbert ride to town.

Of course, that scene was from the first chapter of the book, so there was no surprise that it was the one that was freshest in my mind. But what’s strange is that I have had that image stuck in my mind for so many years, unable to remember where it had come from until I had picked up that book again. I had thought that I was remembering a scene from a movie; it was only later on that I realized that I had retained that scene from my imagination all of these years. That’s what imagination can do to you. When I began to read those words of the chapter, “Mrs. Rachel Lynde is Surprised”, that scene came rushing back to me. This time though, I ate up every single word of it.

When I was young, I found Anne to be a very annoying girl. I thought her idiotic and so incredibly immature, but that was only because I felt a gazillion years old when I should have been feeling eight. But having gone back to the book at the age of twenty, I find her youthful, funny, and so incredibly imaginative. Why the sudden change of heart? I find that Anne and I have an important thing in common: we both have a wild imagination (except mine doesn’t get me into trouble with other people). I find that the older I become, the younger I want to feel. This is a complicated subject – I don’t want to go into it here. Just know, THE BOOK IS A CLASSIC. What’s more, it’s Canadian. Read it please.

By mid-week, I had started another book called, “The Last Lecture”, by Randy Pausche. I had found it one day while perusing through my library. It looked interesting enough and so I gave it a go. Boy was it good! Let me give you the run down: a professor at Carnegie Melon has pancreatic cancer and finds out that he only has three to six months to live. What does he decide to do with the time he has left? Put together a “last lecture” on how to live a good life. The book is basically his lecture in print with more backstory. I’d say that it is much better than the talk itself (although the hour-long talk was enough to make me cry). Click here to watch “The Last Lecture”. Trust me, you’ll want to read this book; it’ll inspire you in so many ways. After reading that book, I’ve started writing down things that I’ve learned so far about “living life”. Maybe one day, it’ll come in handy for my kids.

Since I had already read a childhood classic and a serious “carpe diem” kind of book, I decided that, for the last book of the week, I wanted to read an over-the-top chick-flick kind of book. I wanted to feel that squirmy excitement I used to feel in middle school reading books like, “Confessions of a Shopaholic” and “Can you keep a Secret?” After some recommendations from friends and readers on Amazon.ca, I settled on “Something Borrowed”, by Emily Giffin. Again, I blew through that book. It wasn’t that kind of story that made me want to squirm in my chair, but it was entertaining. Basically, girl has a secret crush on guy she meets in law school. She keeps it under wraps, accidently introduces him to her best friend; years later, best friend and guy is engaged. Then, guy finds out that girl used to like him; they start an affair; girl keeps the affair a secret from her best friend. Yadiyada-stuff-in-between… girl and guy ends up together…(?) Oh, and the movie was nowhere as good as the book – just sayin’. For goodness sakes, it’s going for 3.99$ on Amazon.ca. And that’s a dvd too (what dvd even stand for?); imagine how much it would cost for a vhs copy!

That week, I had read three books from completely different genres: classic, non-fiction (biography), and popular fiction. Unfortunately, this week, I wasn’t lucky enough to devote hours at a time to reading. This week, I have managed to read halfway through a book called, “Lucky Man”, a memoir by Canadian actor, Michael J. Fox about his life and how Parkinson’s disease has affected him. Again, like “The Last Lecture”, I had found this book on one of my shelves, and seeing as how Doc Hollywood was my favourite movie at the age of 11, I just had to read it. So far, it’s fantastic. (Thinking about it now, I’m pretty sure the reason why I wanted to be a doctor between the ages of 8-16 was because of Doc Hollywood… and of course, Lurlene McDaniel. Again, more on this later.)

The other day, I realized that my favourite kind of book to read is biography. The stories are so great and what makes them even greater is knowing that they happened to a real person out there in the world. Reading someone’s biography makes me feel connected to that person.

Anyway, I haven’t finished the book yet. It’s taking longer than I had expected, but that’s only because I have been so busy typing up grammar notes for my students. I’m telling you, being a teacher is more work than I had initially thought. There are so many grammar books out there that I have resolved to making my own set of notes. I have put together a giant binder of explanations and exercizes; I am so incredibly proud of it. On top of that, one of the teachers I’ve been working with has put me in charge of drawing up an assignment. I’ve already given him my proposal; let’s see what he says! I will keep y’all updated. As Riley and Cloe would say: So Little Time.

But whatever – no matter how much work there is, I am loving all of this.

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