January 28, 2014

Reading & Writing

Rick's Reading Again

The magic of finding time to read and write as much as necessary is the magic of getting up earlier. That's what the blogs and literature tell you. The time is there, you just have to grab it. I've spent time getting up earlier to exercise in the past ... but I've never turned it into a habit. I would like to think I could spend that time reading or even writing — but I don't think eliminating sleep is in my best interests. Again, that's what the literature would suggest. Funny, the same author never seems to write about both topics: yeah, you need your sleep but you can sacrifice it so you can read or write more ...

Why Buy All Those Books

I read most of what I buy but probably not all of it to justify why I've bought so many books, magazines, and newspapers. I read more than most people, always have. I've liked reading since I could. I set out eight years ago to write regularly on this blog, Rick's Writing Again. I used to write every day but got way away from it for many years. Starting the blog was to serve to purposes: allow me to express my thoughts, opinions, and ideas in a public forum and to write more. At times, that's exactly what I do. Not nearly enough, though.

I started this blog to:

  • express myself in a public forum, similar to a journalist or author
  • convince myself to write more frequently

The Editor

I probably edit myself too much because I don't want to be too "out there" with ideas or thoughts. I try not to offend — but sometimes, that's exactly what I think I need to do. One goal is to get people to think, to question. Some days, my blogs are simple and to the point. Other times, I develop them. Heck, sometimes, they end up going in a different direction that I expected. I make lists of what I plan to blog about and when I make the list I have an idea of where I will go. Sometimes, the journey takes me someplace else. That's usually a good thing. 

My editors at CM Life in college just didn't get me and I didn't get them. They wanted to change things — change the ideas in the articles. I didn't last long in the collegiate world of journalism. I don't remember if I couldn't take the criticism or didn't like the direction things were going. I still received a journalism minor and still love writing and reading what my old colleagues publish these days. I just didn't fit in at the time — and maybe never would. 

Interestingly, I became an English and journalism teacher and did that for five years. My students created great stories, ideas, and research papers. I pushed them hard. I had expectations. My journalism kids were especially pushed. My idea was to have the best yearbook and best newspaper. We stole ideas. We borrowed headlines. We bootlegged PageMaker to have it on more machines. We learned together. My students read a great deal of books. I allowed choice. I expected them to read. I believe many of them did. I know they all didn't read everything they were supposed to or even said they did. I guess I felt if they didn't "get it" then that was there choice because the one's who "got it," participated, communicated, and helped move things forward, whether in class, in the school, or even in the community. 

That's the process that is missing right now: learning together. That's where I am in my world right now. I think there is a scenario where people (students, teachers, etc.) are not learning together. And if we're not working together, we're working alone. And in today's crazy educational world, we have to work together. We have to spend time reading together (book studies) and discussing the ideas. There's no need that everyone needs to agree that Jim Collins' ideas are the "greatest," or Mike Schmoker is the only researcher who can make you "focus" on the right things — or even that Robert Marzano can take evaluation to the next level. Working together doesn't always mean agreeing together. 

Thanks for reading. Have a great day! 

It's a cold, cold winter day. But summer will be here soon. 

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