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“I was in love, then, with monsters and skeletons and circuses and carnivals and dinosaurs and, at last, the red planet, Mars. From these primitive bricks I have built a life and a career."
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I recall my first years of teaching, now quite some time ago - though it still seems like just the other day. I instructed reading, grammar, literature, and composition, all while carefully following the guidelines of a dept. chairman who had already "taught forever" and in every situation (country schoolhouses, on an island in the St. Lawrence River, local colleges, and district elementary-secondary levels).

As well as an assigned personal classroom, we had a complete Reading Room with shelves filled with so many books it looked like a library of its own. There were illustrated high-interest texts, classic mythology, encyclopedias, English & foreign language dictionaries, legendary titles about settlers-cowboys-adventurers-sailors-knights-monsters, etc. I actually incorporated a major section of Latin into my reading and spelling units which increased reading levels noticeably. I had no previous Latin studies in my own background.

At this time instruction was being presented to grades 7-9. We were given State level scores when students arrived in Sept. and were expected to have "every" student up-to-grade level but preferred "beyond" when finals were approaching. We always did! Mr. W, our chairperson, was a stickler on details and everything was always on-time and done as instructed. Yet, he left plenty of room for originality and inter-disciplinary projects.

My point is this! The Students Turned Pages. They saw pictures upon the page as well as those created in their mind's eye from the words they read and those that were read aloud to them. They read in small groups. They were allowed to selected titles to read on their own.

I eventually taught all levels 7-12, including honors classes and distance learning Sci-Fi classes which included 4-5 schools by way of closed-circuit transmission. (The students knew how to push all of the buttons, which kept us all in good standing!)

Today, there are too many buttons being pushed. Yes, the technology allows information to be right at a person's fingertips. However, there is an important lesson learned in reaching to the top-right to turn the page to find out what is about to happen next. The "pages do smell great and even better" as the mysteries and adventures unfold.

There was no greater pleasure than to see just how well young students had progressed in their literacy skills. When I had them a few years later
- as juniors and seniors, Shakespeare, Shelley, Hemingway, Lee, Wiesel, Twain, Steinbeck, Thoreau, Orwell, Frank, Cather, Wells, O'Conner, and Mr. Bradbury - to name just a few, were all enthusiastically appreciated.

It is continually a true pleasure now to occasionally, under completely unexpected circumstances, cross paths with a former student and to hear how he or she did indeed really enjoy the pages we all turned together!
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"By my staying in love with all of these amazing things, all of the good things in my existence have come about.”
-Ray Bradbury
 
Posts: 2803 | Location: Basement of a NNY Library | Registered: 07 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"The most important distance in the universe is still between the left and right ear. It's still a huge unplumbed abyss."

- Ray Bradbury
 
Posts: 2414 | Registered: 26 January 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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“Shakespeare wrote MOBY DICK, using Melville as a Ouija board.”

- Ray Bradbury
 
Posts: 2414 | Registered: 26 January 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"His library was a fine dark place bricked with books, so anything could happen there and always did. All you had to do was pull a book from the shelf and open it and suddenly the darkness was not so dark anymore."

- Ray Bradbury, from his novel FAREWELL SUMMER
 
Posts: 2414 | Registered: 26 January 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"I'm a library person, completely and finally and forever."

- Ray Bradbury
 
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"My idea of hell is having to watch NBC's mini-series of 'THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES'."

- Ray Bradbury

(Hmmm. I wonder what Ray really thought about that show. Roll Eyes )
 
Posts: 2414 | Registered: 26 January 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"Science fiction is insidious. It is secretly subversive of all that you have believed in the past. It is revolutionary in that it may well make you want to go out and invent better empathy-machines, which repeat truths and amiably shape dreams, such as those strange robots, the motion-picture projector or the record player."

- Ray Bradbury
 
Posts: 2414 | Registered: 26 January 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"The drinking of dandelion wine is a mythological act, isn't it, to stay young the midst of winter, even though you are not young..."

- Ray Bradbury
 
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"...no matter how old we get there should always be that sense of living on the margin of impossibility...Some people are frightened by it, some are elated, but I believe the sense of the impossible can be used to sharpen our senses to what we are doing and where, if anywhere, we are going."

- Ray Bradbury
 
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"I don't like to compete. It doesn't mean anything to me to beat someone. In the field of ideas, there's plenty of room for all of us."

- Ray Bradbury
 
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“Video games are a waste of time for men with nothing else to do. Real brains don't do that. On occasion? Sure. As relaxation? Great. But not full time— And a lot of people are doing that. And while they're doing that, I'll go ahead and write another novel.”

- Ray Bradbury
 
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"All things flow from inspiration; inspiration causes motivation which makes for work and creativity, which makes for even more inspiration and so the cycle continues!"

- Ray Bradbury
 
Posts: 2414 | Registered: 26 January 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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