Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Exercise the mind, too
Long before I ever thought about competing in triathlons, I read books. Lots of them. As a little girl, I devoured all books that focused on horses (yes, I was one of those girls). It actually got to the point where my 5th grade teacher told me I could not read any more books about horses. (Personally, as a literacy professor, I question the wisdom of ever telling a child not to read a book - unless it's completely inappropriate, of course). Luckily, my 5th grade teacher's ban on my favorite book topic didn't squelch my desire to read. Not surprisingly, I majored in English as an undergraduate - and even entertained the idea of going to grad school to get my doctorate in English. I think I made the better choice to focus on helping spread the literacy word via my undergraduate and graduate students.
At Christmas, I watched as one of my youngest nephews, Thomas, proudly showed off his favorite gift - stuffed animal versions of Frog and Toad. If you don't know Frog & Toad and you are a parent of a child under the age of 10, get to a book store ASAP! The simple joy Thomas showed in his smile as we discussed our favorite Frog and Toad stories (we both love "The Button") was one of my favorite Christmas presents. It reminded me that it is just as important to exercise your mind as it is to exercise your body.
And so - my other resolution is to take time each day to read. Student papers, websites, Facebook and blogs don't count in my resolution (although they can be wonderful reading). I'm going to try to read good literature - even if it's just for 5 minutes - every day.