Monday, August 4, 2008

Meet Nerdwood

"Nerdwood” is my nickname at school because my colleagues like to tease me about always reading a book. I love learning – mostly about teaching. (You read that right, Julia.) So… I probably think about books more than the average (normal) person. Recently at a workshop, we were asked to think about how reading has shaped our lives. I’ve thought about it before, but this time it really hit me how much reading has been a part of my life.

I vividly remember the routine of our summer days in elementary school. We would head out in the morning for errands with my mom (of course, fighting over who got the front seat) and then have lunch out (usually Taco Bueno). Then, the best part of the day – we went to the LIBRARY. But – only if we were good. That’s right. ONLY IF WE WERE GOOD. My mom, the teacher, in what might be the most brilliant parenting move of this century, had us believing that going to the library was a reward! We had a system – “Three strikes and you’re out”. If you got three “strikes” during the day, you were “OUT”. That meant – no library. Brilliant. Anyway – we’d go to the library and pick out a stack of books. The library always had a summer reading program where you would get a Chick-Fil-A coupon if you read ten books or something like that. Also very motivating to a third grader. We would then go home, decide what to read first, and cuddle up on the couch with our books until dinner. Those were good days.

It makes me sad that so many kids don’t have those same experiences. Those books and characters are a part of me now. I feel like I’m still friends with the Babysitter's club and I was definitely changed by the Bernstein Bears. Because I’m also a teacher and a dreamer, I have visions of me reading a chapter from a book every night to my (future) kids before they go to sleep. So, I’ve started collecting books that I loved and that I’d like to share with my kids someday. I’ve even got a box in my closet to collect them. So far, I’m collecting the following series:
Little House on the Prairie: There is something so comforting about these books to me. I love imagining what it would be like to live in the Ingalls family. I told my husband this the other day and he laughed uncontrollably. I think he was insinuating that I could never survive on the prairie - which is probably true, but I still like to imagine!
Nancy Drew: These books were (and still are) riveting to me. You can’t finish a chapter without wanting to keep going! I used to finish these in a single sitting on a Saturday morning.
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle: If you’ve never read these, you should. I can still remember sitting in my elementary school library on a yellow vinyl “whistle chair” and diving into these books. Although they were written in the 50s, they still ring true today.

Here's to being a nerd!! What childhood books do you love?


Tiffany said...

Long live Amelia Bedelia and Junie B. Jones! Junie B. Jones is newer and wasn't around when I was a wee one, but they are so cute and I have given them to my mentee. She loves to read now because those books are so fun.

Josh and Jamie said...

Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are. I wish I still had both of those books. Miss ya Nerdwood!

isabella said...

I love your new blog. I like seeing what the "Norwood Nest" is up to. We haven't seen much of your nest lately since we have been working on the "other" nest.
I would like to make a contribution to the "book box" in your closet. Maybe something Blazer would like???
Love you both...
Mom (Vicky)

The semi-newlyweds said...

I'm HYPED about the new blog. I LOVED "Sideways Stories from Wayside School". It was my favorite...especially during the book fair when they decorated the school in theme. Oh...and I loved "Class Clown"....I laughed myself to sleep with that book.

Tiffany said...

Ditto T-Rog on Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are AND Sideways Stories from Wayside School! Good ones y'all...

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