Last week was the first week back to school for us in upstate New York. Staff were back on Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday was Freshman First Day and then Friday all students in grades 9-12 came back. And with the first week, that means the age-old question “so, how was your summer?”
Like “hello, how are you?” where how are you is usually rhetorical, “how was your summer?” fills the hole of something to say when you’ve been away from students and colleagues for a gap of time. Most don’t really want a play-by-play of your summer, but for those that do, mine could be summed up in one Pinterest-worthy quote: “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”
Between house remodeling and a family business, vacations and activities are usually done in short bursts and were not expensive (I do want a kitchen sooner than later). So I filled my days with reading from a twenty-four hour readathon to reading the Harry Potter series, I got lost in books and let them take me places when I didn’t go anywhere. And if you were to ask me whether I had a wonderful summer, the answer is yes.
My sons would likely answer the same: having read endless Calvin and Hobbes comics along with Harry Potter, Dog Man, and Stick Cat. Yes, we biked and relaxed along Lake Ontario, but what’s important is that they also felt fulfilled with adventuring in books too.
In thinking about our students returning, I hope that it is the same for them. If they did visit the beach or attend a festival, great, but if they did not get to every county fair or get to visit family in the city, I hope that they went places in books. And I’m going to make it a point to recognize that when we speak.
Where did you go in your books this summer?