Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Who Do You Call?

Do you have a go-to friend? A ‘call in the middle of a crisis’ friend? The other day I was running errands and failed to realize how low my gas tank was actually getting. I pulled into the garage, shut off the engine and decided I would get gas in the morning.
The next morning, at 6:30 a.m., with a wind chill below zero, I huddled in my car trying to estimate how much gas I needed to get to work. If I didn’t run the heater, I knew I could save gas. But, without the heater, my fingers might fall off before I made it to work. Do I take the highway or back roads? On the highway it would be a faster trip. But, on the back roads, there would be more gas stations (granted, none of them open yet, but they would be there).
As I drove down the highway (fastest route) with the heat turned to low (minimal frostbite/gas consumption) I frantically checked the dashboard, monitoring the ‘miles to go’ gauge.  As I took the exit ramp, I noticed I could go 4 more miles.
No problem, the gas station was less than two miles away. As I stood in the freezing cold, watching gas pump into my car, my mind wandered to the idea that what if this gas station had been closed? What if I had to drive to another station? I would surely have run out of gas!
With that thought I began to wonder – whom would I call? It was now 6:45 in the morning and I had limited options of who could come to my rescue.
Do I call a friend who would be on their way to work and likely pass by me? Do I call a friend who would already be at work and have them come and rescue me? Do I call someone who has to travel a far distance so that no one at work ever knows this happened? Each option had merit; each had its pitfalls.
Fortunately, I never had to figure it out. There was enough gas to get there, I filled up the tank, and off I went.
This made me think about how different books come into our lives for different purposes.
Sometimes our favorite book is one that makes us laugh.
Sometimes it is one that gives us a heartfelt reaction.
Sometimes, it is one that makes us cry.
Sometimes, it is one that we never want to admit to others that we read.

We read for so many purposes, we should allow and encourage students to explore those different purposes when reading.
Are they reading to learn?
Are they reading to cry?
Are they reading to laugh?
Are they reading to connect?

Talking with them about these different purposes and their purpose behind their choices can give us insight into their reading.

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