Rachel S. Heslin
Thoughts, insights, and mindless blather

Indoctrinating Youth
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childlike glee and wonder

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Friday is the Read-A-Thon at the elementary school where I work. I've volunteered, and I'm going to be reading to two classes: 2nd graders, and 5th graders.

For the 2nd graders, I've chosen a book from the school library called "The Dragon Prince," which is essentially the Beauty and the Beast story from a Chinese perspective. I've already decided to omit the parts that talk about how much prettier the youngest daughter is from her sisters and concentrate on her character traits.

For the 5th graders, I'm going to read the beginning of Patricia McKillip's "Riddle Master of Hed." I first read this when it came out in paperback (I was nine), and it's still my favorite series of all time. There's something about its themes of love, honor, and the responsibility that comes with power -- even power that you didn't ask for -- that has resonated deeply with me.

I'm going to enjoy this immensely. I only hope that some of that joy is contagious, and that I can in some small way help introduce a new generation to the wonder of imagination as we learn to build the individual stories of our lives.


The sun is tentatively peering through layers of clouds, hurting my eyes with snowglare. I love the snow. I love tromping around in snowdrifts in my snow boots. I love the *foomph!* as heavy clumps fall from high branches, cascading in staggered drops to land upon the muffled ground. I love watching flakes drift through the air and flurries eddy upon the roadway.

I hate putting snow chains on my car.

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