Sunday, June 16, 2019

Summer Reading

For the past three years, I've worked as an English Composition Assistant at a local high school.  |

This past March, I found one of my students in a class, hand writing the lines of Dante's Inferno, first canto from a pdf on the computer.   He explained that poetry was easier than prose.  He suffers from severe reading disabilities, but persists.  When material is presented with video and audio, he does well.  He gives strong thoughtful answers. When tested without these supports, he struggles. 

Last Christmas, my oldest gave me a copy of Dante's Divine Comedy.  I hadn't read it in years despite loving the Epic in all its forms. We got to the last week of school, and I decided to lend him my copy for the summer. "Someone who tries that hard, should have a chance to keep at it." I thought, and lent him the book."Here's your summer reading. Nice light stuff." 

Normally, when I hand out books, there's the "Aw, why do we have to read this?" and sometimes, a few choice words about books in general, or the one in particular.  This time, was different.  His face broke into an epic smile. "Thank you."  You would have thought I'd given him a million bucks, giving him a three inch thick book of 14,233 lines of poetry.  "I will read this."  he said. 

Something in the simplicity of the words told me he would. 

Now the thing about summer reading is, a staff or faculty has to read the text too. 

So guess what I'm doing. 
My reaction was far less promising.   

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