mindGrazing

chewing ideas down to stubble, then moving on…

Barack Obama on reading…

Posted by Jason on November 17, 2008

I saw this quote on a blog called “condalmo.” I don’t know if it’s real or not, but I believe it. Seriously people, you MUST absolutely read to your children. I beg you, I implore you. We have way too many people in this world that don’t have the abilities to 1) use their imaginations 2) critically analyze any idea 3) learn anything without somebody making them. 

Even if your children are never going to be the next Einsteins -you never know- reading to them and/or with them every day or every night or every spare second you get shows that you deeply care about them. I don’t know which is more important, the intellectual benefits or the relational benefits that a child receives when he/she reads with a parent.

You’ve had a long day at work and you’re tired? When we were kids, my dad could hardly get through a Dr. Seuss or Bernstein Bears book without falling asleep. He worked so hard fixing cars every day, and doesn’t read the best, but he did it anyway. After Dad fell asleep, my sister and I would usually finish the book on our own, either reading, making it up or reciting it from memory as Dad slept. Even though my sister and I don’t really really remember being read to, I’m sure it had a major effect on our love for reading and learning.

When kids are young (pre-school age), their parents are their world. If you had special time with your parents each and every day, don’t you think that activity -whatever it was- would always have a special place in your heart? Reading is associated with good times with a parent, and this can help carry a kid through school when the going gets rough.

So what if you don’t have kids? Read to yourself every day. Just because you don’t go to school anymore doesn’t mean that you don’t have a responsibility as a human being to continue learning. God has blessed you with a wonderful brain, why waste it on doing the only same boring thing you do at your job all day long? The great thing about being an adult and out of school is that you can read anything you want!

Don’t have enough extra cash to buy a bunch of books? The library is awesome…I generally buy too many books, but I know that librarians are just tickled pink to have a new sheep come into their literary fold. If a new  adult comes in and requests a library card or wants some help finding a book, most library personnel bend over backwards to help out. I think librarians often have a thankless job by society’s standards, and there’s not much prestige in presiding over a little branch of a little city library. Also, they manage the last strongholds in the losing war between online and print resources. Because of this, most librarians have to really be committed to their missions and love to have somebody new want to learn about the library. 

Finally, what better sleep aid than a book? My dad just has to look at a book and he falls asleep. While books definitely do put a lot of people right to sleep, I find that I have a hard time going to sleep if I don’t read before bedtime. My brain swirls and whirls around constantly with so many things that I generally can’t shut it off very well by myself when it’s sleepytime. However, when I read before bed, I find that it centers my focus on just one thing, rather than 80 million things at once. When I focus on just my book, it’s not as if the story really affects my life, so I can disconnect and go to sleep much easier. 

So the moral of this story?

READ A BOOK, DAMMIT!

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10 Responses to “Barack Obama on reading…”

  1. Kel said

    Amen Brother!!! 🙂 Seriously, I truly believe Kris and I LOVE to read becuase Mom read to us ALL THE TIME!!

    The librarians know me by name there! Plus, it is such a great place to get some peace and quite…kind of brings me back to our college days. 🙂

    All the Sherman-Tuckers are going to be book nerds! 🙂 YES!!

  2. Anonymous said

    No doubt about it! A love of reading is one of the best gifts a parent can give to a child.
    Thanks for visiting.
    AuthorMomWithDogs

  3. godshouldnthave said

    Weak sauce!
    Come on Teacher Tucker. Pedagogy is not simply about repeating the abundantly exposed failures of current parents. Obviously parents are NOT reading to their children because they do not want to! The advantages of reading to your children have been clearly and desperately advertised, recommended, whispered, and demanded by teachers and presidential eras alike for over 4 decades. But parents in striking numbers and blind defiance have placed their child’s free time in the hands of video game programmers and child network executives for one obvious reason. The relentlessly dominant human trait of LAZINESS.

    Most Parents never wanted to be such! Never really thought out or envisioned the “raise a genius” route to success.
    Most want to remain childish beings of habit and sublimity. Your plea for action may not reach them any deeper than the average used car sale commercial. Can you blame them? How many generations must you go back to find someone you truly can hold accountable for the direction of our declining emphasis on equal and comprehensive education.

    So as sad and absolutely scary as this may sound….YOU… a paid teacher….must accept that he is the only hope for the children he encounters. If he, The Teacher, places value in the intellectual advancement of the many…he must accept the responsibility himself. If parents do indeed help you in your quest, you can count their efforts as gravy. But expect to do all of the possible work yourself. Oh, I know that it is impossible. Impossible that you alone can turn ALL of these kids around and give them a chance to be that which you hold so virtuous. Your marriage to the idea of a society moving ahead as a mass rather than as individuals is truly noble and one to be admired.
    Admired by masochists and hallucinating evangelical bribe-taking school district super intendants. 🙂

    Oh, and as far as your concern of over looking the next “Einstein” I suggest you walk away from this dangerous endeavor quickly. Why would you hope to nurture the future master minds of discovery? Discovery, if Dr. Ian Malcom has taught us anything, is a violent and penetrative act. What you call discovery, I call the rape of the natural world. Let children stay stupid. Let yourself be their only hope. Let failure be our utopia. Or we will keep inventing new ways to infect, deteriorate, cancer, and ultimately unravel ourselves.

    Let your ego rest. Kids should never even learn to talk, let alone read!

    _Daniel

    P.S. The best sleep aid is not a book. It is half a bottle of wild turkey, 2 Tylenol p.m., and reading your blog!

  4. Jason said

    In the words of every new teacher, “But…if I can save one, just one, then this futile exercise will be all worth it!” Hehe…maybe someone reading this is a lazy parent that doesn’t read very much? HA! I’m preaching to the choir then, aren’t I? If anyone takes the time to sift through blogs all day and end up at this one, that means they’re quite invested in reading and probably already have children who aren’t going to be raving idiots.
    Maybe I should find a way to infiltrate video games with reading…oh wait RPG’s have already done that, and no dumb kids or parents play those. DRAT! I guess I can only save myself and my own kids that I don’t have. We’ll homeschool them and enclose them in a loving bubble of literature and miniature Japanese trees. They will be incredibly intelligent, yet socially worthless: so much for preserving our line in the species…Oh well, I tried.

    P.S. I love how your brain reverts to a mix of Nietzsche and Jurassic Park when you’re drunk and drowsy…Dr. Ian Malcom-HA!

  5. kktucks said

    but don’t forget, if Jason and his fellow teachers let what you deem as ego (or perhaps it should better be called “savior complex”) rest, he and they would be out of jobs. all humankind will thus revert back to our primeval days and another species will reign. (name THAT book.)

  6. Jason said

    Planet of the Apes? I know it’s not fine literature, but that’s the best I could come up with…

  7. kktucks said

    think outside our DNA 😉

  8. kktucks said

    Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

  9. godshouldnthave said

    Yes I admit that would be a terrible world!
    Millions of unemployed teachers roaming the streets.

  10. Jason said

    Yes, twould be awful. There would be all these freaks cruising around the slums and junkyards committing hideous and obscene acts of education…reading aloud from the street corners, giving lessons in brothels, bringing their filthy ideals of studiousness and intelligence to our properly indoctrinated idiots.

    Just the thought of a world like this makes me shudder…

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