so….I’m throwing another steinbeck in there.  maybe I can push the grapes of wrath a little further back so I don’t have 30% of my book goal be made of steinbeck.  I was going to start on true grit next, but then, half my advisory class was reading this one in their english classes.  and it’s so short, and it was on my shelf to be read at some point, so I thought it might be fun to read it at the same time as my kids.  and can I tell you?  NERD!  it was SO. FUN.  so fun to talk about this book with them.  can I tell you that I felt so legit when I was able to come up with metaphors and symbolism and motifs from this book?  way legit.  I always did fine in language arts, but it was never something I really excelled at or honestly even enjoyed all the time.  I’ve always loved reading, but I felt like a lot of my classes took a lot of the joy out of it as I got older.  I really enjoyed the lit classes I took my junior year in high school (american ideas was okay, but I LOVED power struggles.  mrs. weir was AWESOME.  I loved the books we read in there too–especially this one and DEFINITELY this one), but other than that, I felt like a lot of my english teachers just confused me and made me feel like I had no clue what I was doing.  I feel like whenever they talked about themes, or symbolism, or stuff like that, I always just struggled to come up with anything.  I mean, when they would tell me that “_____ was a theme in this book” I could usually agree, but I never would have come up with it on my own.  and I felt like the symbolism just sounded made up.  like colors.  I would get so mad when my sophomore year my teacher would talk about the colors in things and what they meant.  I was always like “maybe his coat is blue because he likes blue.  not because he is sad or this or that.”  because when I wrote I wasn’t thinking about that stuff.

so what changed?  I don’t know why it seemed so easy with this book.  the kids had so many questions and it was fun to know the answers without someone telling me.  I loved that when anita was asking me about metaphors I immediately thought “music.  music is such a running metaphor in this book.  kino is always talking about the music of the family, or the evil music, or…..”  and as soon as I thought it I was like “Yes!  I am finally a student of literature!”  I know I am a dork but whatev.  and it was fun to act like a teacher but not in math.  I am so confident that I was made to be a math teacher, and I know the ins and outs of teaching math.  but it was fun to take some of those things and use them as a transfer skill.   just as I am constantly pushing my kids to discover stuff on their own, it was fun to in turn ask anita questions that would help lead her to thinking about the music, instead of telling her the answer.  it was fun to play that role in a different context.  and I loved that we had this big discussion about it in advisory.  it really just made me very happy and if I get the chance to read with my kids again I think I will take it.

as far as the actual book, I liked it.  it was pretty steinbeck standard in not being very happy, but I was better with it here than in of mice and men.  I loved the characters, so that helped me to like the book.  of course it was nice that it was awfully short and an awfully quick read.  I’ve been spoiled lately with easy reading…this isn’t making anna karenina look any more appealing.  it might sit on the shelf a while longer.  anyhow, I really do love his writing; I think it is beautiful.  and I loved that there was so much symbolism here.  I felt like it was so true; I felt like there are lessons to be learned from it.  and I think it is probably a good thing for my kids to hear.  and there are so many parallels to the bible in it.  so many things to relate to…

I am very excited that we are starting our new study in small group.  I am not a fan of time off.   maybe our small group studies and stuff like that is what’s making me better at understanding stories.  I guess we talk about stuff like that.  anyhow.  in other news, I continue to do not so good with 27. avoid all running injuries.  but, I suppose I am also succeeding because I am working hard to remedy it.  I am seeing the physical therapist and doing my exercises like a good girl and my hips are getting better.  I really like my PT, he is very helpful in explaining things and helping me understand why things aren’t working correctly.  I was able to run today for the first time in over a week, and oh it was glorious.  my kids have been bad lately and I have needed to run.  and can I tell you a secret?  it has only taken me 3 years, but I am finally starting to enjoy running.  AND, oh yeah, fyi, nbd, I will have a niece!  in less than a week!  she will be here for sure by next friday, but hopefully much sooner!  oh my gosh I am so excited.

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