Some day, when I return to Bellingham, I hope I’ll remember unexpected pleasures such as these:
— “I love you, Katniss!” shouted at the top of his lungs by 13-year-old Siddhanth (better known as Sid) as he lunged off the Tower and plunged into the sea at Telunas a week ago. This is a kid who not only devoured The Hunger Games trilogy, he bravely admitted to the entire class that he read–and loved–all of the Twilight books (which set off quite a commotion — and permission for a few of my other guys to admit they read ’em too!). Sid is an avid reader, a gifted poet, and he lights up a stage as an actor/actress (as we discovered during skit night at Telunas when he stole the show performing a female-jive version of Little Red Riding Hood). Sid’s a gutsy kid who’s earning acceptance for his unique talents — I’m fortunate he’s in my class.
— Catching Mallari under my desk when I returned from lunch. When I asked what she was doing, she sheepishly admitted she’d “stolen” our one-and-only copy of Cynthia Lord’s Touch Blue because she needed to find out what was happening to Aaron and Tess, the main characters. Don’t (ever) let anyone tell you that 8th graders are too old to listen to a story, especially one with characters they care about. Yesterday afternoon as I hustled to return a book to the library minutes before class, another student stopped me on the stairs: “Are you going to read Touch Blue today?” Our ritual in RLA 8 is the read aloud three times a week — but now that we’re just six chapters from the end, they want more. How satisfying is that?