Friday, May 12, 2006

Oh, the places you'll go!

Dr. Seuss' book Oh, the Places You'll Go came to mind as I read this article that appeared in yesterday's newspaper.

The first three words of the headlines caught my eye: "Love of reading fuels a diplomat's career."

I read this article with delight. I always delight to hear people speak highly of their love of reading, especially when that love was implanted early in life.

"William Gill Jr. [38-year-old currently consul in the U. S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon] personifies what education...once was and what it desperately needs to be again....Gill’s journey begins as a first-grader, when he traveled to faraway places in an imagination fueled by a love of reading instilled in him by his mother and later nurtured by his teachers.

"'I think books are important. I think not just what they represent, but what they can do for a person. It’s traveling without moving, as the song goes.'

"Children respond 'if people plant those seeds and give young people a chance to think about all the possibilities and explore all the possibilities that are open to them.'

"'It was all about the teachers,' said Gill. 'Grade school is so important, and the teachers who do that work are not valued. [My first grade teacher] encouraged me in reading. She encouraged my curiosity in every way, really, as all my teachers did.'"

from “Love of reading fuels a diplomat’s career” by Shanna Flowers, The Roanoke Times, May 11, 2006

1 comment:

Carol in Oregon said...

Janie, that is such a warm thing to read. It reminded me of a passage from One Writer's Beginnings by Eudora Welty:

I learned from the age of two or three that any room in our house, at any time of day, was there to read in, or to be read to. My mother read to me. She'd read to me in the big bedroom in the mornings, when we were in her rocker together, which ticked in rhythm as we rocked, as though we had a cricket accompanying the story. She'd read to me in the dining room on winter afternoons in front of the coal fire, with our cuckoo clock ending the story with "Cuckoo" and at night when I'd got in my own bed. I must have given her no peace. Sometimes she read to me in the kitchen while she sat churning, and the churning sobbed along with any story."