While it is not something that I am proud of, teachers as a profession often walk a hypocritical path. We dictate best practices to students that we don’t even think of using in our own lives. I make it a point to be honest with my students, but I realized that I fell into this trap myself. Over the last two years at the high school where I worked, I taught development reading classes almost exclusively. I developed a reputation as one who works well with the more challenging students. One of the mantras that I shared often with my students is that to improve their reading and writing skills, they have to practice both often. This is not just to get their skills up to par for a standardized test (that is a long entry for another day), but to develop a love for the craft. The more that you practice, the better you get, the more confident you get, the less stressed you are, and the more you can enjoy it. Sometimes I could get through; oftentimes I did not. Myra stands out as a talented young lady who would write songs often and bring them in for me to read; Tim wrote very intense poetry that I feel honored to have been chosen by him to share. However, sometime in the last few years, I lost the love for it. Reading and writing were my passion from seventh grade through the culmination of my bachelor’s degree. Since then, it seems like my love was buried under stacks of pedagogical textbooks, abstracts, and long research papers. Seriously, for a period of about 3 years, the only writing that I did was for intense papers, one being over 100 pages. Most of my leisure reading was spent reading research papers and textbooks for ideas and evidence to use in those papers. It really is dreadful and sucks the life out of something wonderful. I understand why most of my students come to me hating reading; all they have been exposed to are textbooks and literature that is too difficult or boring for them to be able to enjoy.

My journey home, so to speak, began between a year and a half and two years ago. I really wanted to read the Bible every day and read the whole Bible as I had not done that yet. An idea turned into a habit turned into a great passion for God’s Word. I am still reading the Bible every day and am also finding time to incorporate other books as well on a regular basis.

Reading, though, is only half of the equation. For me, it is tantamount to being parasitical. I am consuming the work of others without offering anything in return. (I am not saying that everyone who is not a writer is a parasite; merely that I, who have been trained in and enjoy writing, should contribute back to a community from which I have been given so much.) I did not, though, start writing again for a long time. In fact, this blog is the first real writing that I have done of any kind that was not school or work related in at least 3 years. Hopefully, writing will follow the same path as reading. This blog started out as just an idea that was fermenting last month. It is fast becoming a habit as I realize again that I love to write (if you can call 1 week of writing a habit). Hopefully, it will move from habit to passion.

I bought a notepad the other day that I can carry around in my pocket. Even though I love technology and have terrible handwriting, there is something appealing about the physical act of writing. I also wanted to be able to keep track of my ideas whenever they strike me and the touch screen keyboard on my Blackberry just won’t cut it for writing more substantial than a Twitter post. When I was young, I almost always did my best thinking when I went for long walks, so I went out for a walk as I used to do, with no particular heading or direction. Walking just helps me to organize the billion thoughts that are circulating through my head at any given time (so does writing actually). I brought my notepad with my hoping for inspiration and I found it. I luckily did not hit many trees as I was walking and writing. I don’t want to share the ideas until I can get them into a more concrete form, but I think that I finally found a writing project that I can get excited about. It may never come to fruition or be published, but that is not important at the moment. What is important is that I am writing again and encourage you to do the same, and more than 140 characters.

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