Friday, July 2, 2010

Kids

So, I went down to Hanalei, the small town near my house, to teach one of my students.  He is on summer break and teaching schedules get a bit erratic.  We went to Java Kai and worked to the smell of kona coffee and whipped cream.

Fun.  Spelling--"pulchritude"--wow, good word.  He got it.  He is going into sixth grade.  Word games, noisy pop quizzes (he gets to give me one and then I get to give him one--only fair--he won).  Adverbs--less fun, and reading comprehension.  It was rambunctious, summery and whole.  It is amazing to watch a sixth grader throw himself into English class on a sunny Friday in summer.

When we left Java Kai to go and find his mom who is a close friend of mine, we bumped into two of my other students--sisters aged ten and sixteen.  All three are friends.  It was wonderful to see them all together.  Like chattering, chirping, chickens.  I went upstairs, sat in the sun and spoke to both moms.  Eventually another student arrived--the older brother of the recently graduated student.  He is watching the sixth grader this summer and had come to take him to the beach.  While I was talking to him, the ten year old put her hand in mine, pulled me down to her level and whispered in my ear, "I finished my homework already."  Huge smile on her face.  She kept hold of my hand and tried on my ring.

I watched them all.  The ten year old is reading Mandy.  The sixteen year old starts Wuthering Heights tomorrow.  The sixth grader is reading The Mysterious Benedict Society.  They are just discovering it.  The pull of a book.  The intense relationship between reader and story.  It was wonderful to sit in the sun with them.  

15 comments:

  1. This post made me smile - I love it when younger people see the beauty of books, and get lured inside the pages. In an odd sort of way, it gives me hope!

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  2. it is the best thing about teaching.

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  3. Ahh...such a beautiful and hopeful moment of life. Priya, do you teach in a school or are you a tutor or freelancer of some sort?

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  4. hi june, i tutor kids on the island but as many of them are home-schooled it becomes a comprehensive english/language/writing/history class. it is such fun.

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  5. Oh Priya, it was a joy to read your post. Your happiness and contentment came through and I agree, I also smiled while reading it, these kids are so adorable! :-)

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  6. What a magical thing to witness :)

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  7. stella, they are adorable. thank you stella. you are so sweet.

    rachel, it really was! :)

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  9. 'Pulchritude' - that IS a good word, and one that doesn't see nearly enough airtime!!

    That sounds like a very cool afternoon, Priya. The satisfaction of bringing people - especially young people - to books can't be overstated, and engaged, happy, curious kids just make your heart sing, don't they?

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  10. hi priya, this was a wonderful post! i felt myself being a keen observer in your shoes! watching a 2 1/2 year old read her "mouse tales" and watching her move from more and more complex stories, with different appeal, is something i thought of when i read this!

    on an aside, do you have any feelings about this new form of reading that has started with these Kindle book "readers"? perhaps you have posted this somewhere, but i'm curious what you think. have you tried to read this way, an entire novel, on a screen? i recall your post about loving the book in your hands, marking in it, etc, and i feel the same way. i can't imagine reading in a different way, but perhaps i am being a stick-in-the-mud!

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  11. Bonjour Priya. It sounds like such a lovely thing to see happening to children and I remember when I was a child and got completely immersed in a book - it's wonderful. Have a lovely week, Love from London x

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  12. A wonderful memory for you, I bet you were thrilled watching this happen. I haven't heard of the benedict society - should I read it or is it contemporary YA? Nothing against YA... I just enjoy other genres more.

    I hope you had a wonderful 4th!

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  13. It is so apparent that you really care for your students! They are lucky!

    There's an award for you at Kate's Library!

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  14. And they will all remember you as someone who fostered their life-long love of reading - and they will pass that love on. It's a kind of immortality.

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  15. Hi Priya - just wanted to let you know that I linked this as part of "My Friday Five" at Kate's Library!

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