Making Time for a Long Lost Activity

images (2)By Matthew Olinski — I recently did something I have not done in a long time… I mean a really long time… as in years!

What was it? I read a book for fun.

Not for a college class, not to review some material I would be teaching later on, but a work of fiction, purely for enjoyment.  It was over the course of the 4 day weekend with wind chills dangerously cold. I had an extra 2 days, and by Friday evening, I had already been told, a third day, in which to accomplish this.

Why is this so significant? Why does it matter that I was able to read a book for fun rather than academia?  It is just as simple as that it has been such a long time. I like to read, as most of us probably do. I’m going to admit, reading academic subject matter is “ok”.  I’ll apologize for that at some other time in the future.   It just seems like reading a book that I have picked out has become a low priority, with time requirements of everything else pulling that ability away.

If other people are able to do this on a more regular basis, great for them.  I read to my daughter every night, but they’re children’s books. Quite honestly, I’ve memorized some of them so I don’t need to read the pages anymore, that’s how often I’ve read them.  My time in the Marquette graduate program required a lot of reading, so the other books went to the side.  I am constantly reviewing my European history for my AP class.

Those aren’t the same.  I could, and often did, put my Marquette books down to relax. I found myself reading a book over that 4 day weekend in which it was difficult to put it down because I wanted to know what happened next.  Maybe its part of being a high school teacher of an AP class, that I’m constantly reading subject matter material.  I like to read history books.  It’s what I teach, so its always interesting to read about a historical topic, even one I’ve been reading and teaching about for years.  Grading papers has taken a lot of my free time as well.  I think we all face these time constraints.  This is why it was so refreshing to actually be able to read something of my choosing at my leisure.

My goal is to accomplish this task (if that is the correct word) more than once every couple of years.  We’ll see.  To others, if you have the ability to find something of interest to read, and time seems short, go ahead and try reading a few pages.  I think I have just made all of my Language arts teacher friends and colleagues a little happier from all of this!

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