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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Flipping over the Past

When I woke up today, I was greeted to three special notifications waiting in my Facebook.  Students from my first year of teaching notified me that a movie was coming out for our favorite book that we had read together, Flipped,  by Wendelin Van Draanen. They want me to go see it with them as a group. I cannot express how much that means to me. Five years ago, we created our first vodcast book talks together and this was the book we shared with the world. This group of kids have always had special memories for me, enough for me to allow them to face me on Facebook. They are the only group of students I communicate with in that forum, but in all fairness, they are of driving age now. I sometimes gasp out loud when I read what they are posting, once in a while I will offer a tidbit of advice or a bit of encouragement, but I mostly just watch their growth from afar.
Today I am grateful for this connection, we will plan a movie reunion event and extend our special time over a book that brought us all together as one. When I think back on the books I shared with my teachers, there are a few that I always connect to them particularly. I saw "Of Mice and Men" at the Walnut Theatre in Philadelphia in 2006, and actor Anthony Lawton was masterful as always. However, he was fighting with the ghost of Mr. McClean, the Teaneck High School English teacher who lived this book with us in 1983. I write "lived" beacuase he did not merely read it aloud to a bunch of us misfits, he firmly planted it in our minds with all the voices and emotions of a live play. I had a lot to live up to when I got my first teaching job. I am indebted to the wonderful men and women who have shown me the way. Thank You...

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