Reading Goal #3: Read the Books I’ve Been Avoiding.

This is perhaps my toughest challenge.

Ever since high school, I hated being told what to read. I hated reading books because someone else decided they were valuable, or “classics”. Although I loved to read and was an otherwise great student, I am ashamed to admit that I made my way through high school essentially avoiding reading every book I was ever supposed to read, with the exception of Metaphorphosis (because it was short; I still thought it was stupid), and 1984 (but only months after it was assigned, because we were also putting on the stage production of it, and it suddenly felt relevant to me).

Some harsh confessions of an Honor Roll student include reading the Children’s Illustrated Classics version of Frankenstein instead of the actual  book, giving up half way through Great Expectations, and doing my entire Junior year panel project on Grapes of Wrath only ever reading the first page of each chapter. Terrible, I know. And the guilt still hasn’t left me. Which is why I still feel the need to right this wrong.

I feel I owe it to myself, and to my high school English teachers, (Mrs. Kobza, Mrs. Nee, and Mr. Moeller, if you’re reading this, I am so, so sorry!) to make up for the errors of my ways.

So, starting in 2012, I vow to attempt the following things:

  1. I will find a high school reading list, a list of “classics”, or my own personal list of books I feel I should have read, and attempt to read at least 4 a year.
  2. I will try not to be immediately against a book just because it was recommended to me, assigned in high school, or is considered a “classic.”
  3. I will read Grapes of Wrath cover to cover so I can finally feel I earned the A I received.

I hope that if I do these three things, I will be relieved of a deep and lingering guilt that has stayed with me for nearly a third of my life.

Contest for a Cause

I’ve entered a little contest in the blogging world, and I need your help! It won’t cost you anything but a few minutes of your time.

If you look to the right of this post, you’ll see the new SocialVibe widget I’ve added. For every reader who clicks that link and watches a short (few seconds) video or answers a survey question, a donation will be made to DonorsChoose, one of my favorite nonprofit organizations online. And for every one of my readers who participates, my chances of winning the contest improve.

DonorsChoose is an online charity that supports classrooms in need, in locations all over the U.S. If you are a teacher, a parent, or have paid any attention at all to our country’s education crisis, you’ll know that funding is a big issue, no matter where you are.

In some schools, they can’t afford books, pencils, or paper. In many classrooms, teachers use their own money to pay for the supplies that every student should have access to. Music and art programs are being cut left and right, but some passi0nate teachers are fighting to keep the arts in their classrooms.

This is where Donors Choose  comes in. Teachers can go online and make a request for help.  Anything from items as small as a pencil to big projects like funding a school play or purchasing a new computer can be posted on the site. Then generous donors can browse the projects and support the cause(s) most important to them. (Hence the name DonorsChoose).

Interested yet? Well here’s how you can help.

  1. Click on my Widget on the right side of the page, and complete the “task”. Then SocialVibe will make a contribution to DonorsChoose, and you don’t have to pay a penny. (This will also help me in my contest, so please do this one!)
  2. If you want to make even more of an impact, please check out some of the incredible projects listed on Donors Choose, and consider making a monetary donation to one or more of them.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and support a great cause!