Friday, January 28, 2011

Why don't adults write book reports?

This week each of my students had to hand in a portfolio of their strengths as a student. In their masterpieces they had to tell me what kind of assignments they enjoy the most and why. The response was both typical and overwhelming. Many of them couldn't think of a single assignment they enjoyed. :) A few told me that I was only steps away from being the perfect teacher...if I would just never give homework. But many of the more reflective 12 year-olds believed that book reports were the most fun and also the most interesting assignments.

Of course this got me thinking: why don't adults write book reports? I remember in middle and high school, the highest recommendation a book could receive was that your friends liked it. I remember when Laura Provinsal's mom bought her a series of Christian romances, we all read them. When Liz and I got hooked on Harry Potter, everyone wanted to borrow the books when we were done. My students are the same way- those who "hate" reading will pick up almost any book recommended by their peers.

I actually miss writing book reports. My solution to this is easy- the next time I assign one, I will simply make one of my own. Maybe I'm crazy, but I'm sure there are others out there who miss talking about a good read, or somehow presenting your book and creativity to a larger audience. I know I do.:)

Any suggestions for a good book to start with?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


One of my resolutions this year was to write more. So far it's been a slow process, but between sporadic journaling, dusting off the books and revisiting the blogs, I'm doing my best to get on my writing feet again.

I was at a meeting last night of Catholic women sharing faith. By far the youngest at the event, I realized that part of the reason I struggle with making faith-filled friends is because we are so wary of really sharing our stories with one another. Last night I learned so much about myself from listening to two women answer a short series of questions about their own struggles and joys in faith. It made me think that there are so many stories out there, so many inspiring men and women who could teach us so much.

But these voices don't all have to have the wisdom that comes with age. I wish that my peers in their twenties would come and tell their stories too. What are your struggles with your faith? Where do you find joy? What is a scripture reading that inspires and guides your actions? What is a piece of wisdom you would share?

If you are reading this, please let me know your answer to at least one of these questions. I think you'd be surprised at how inspiring you really are. :)