Excited and nervous, I welcomed six new students to Reading Selections, five of whom are entirely new to me. It’s a full class, and I’m over the moon to introduce them to the short readings I love most. There’s a full range of ages and personalities, though I think all of us are on the introversion side of the spectrum. After the first run of these classes, I’ve organized the readings to have more solid themes, and better thought out flow from month to month and piece to piece.
For a long while, I worried there would only be two students, which while still feasible, doesn’t allow for as many perspectives to add to the richness of the discussion.
Though many of the selections have changed or shifted position, the first month of the first year of literary shorts remains the same as the first time I ran these courses:
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber
- The Lady, or the Tiger? by Frank Stockton
- The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
- The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. LeGuin
Give our introductory discussions, getting to know a bit about one another, I’m quite certain these young people will surprise me with a wide variety of projects and perspectives, even among the siblings participating. My most fervent wish for this class is to be a good guide and resource to them, to help them flourish, and find magic within the words they’re reading. I remain nervous, yet the excitement builds.
My biggest obstacle right now is technical. The cost of even self service copies has become a joke, and to print a full year of selections at a shop would cost over $40 per packet. Thus, to be practical and economical, I’m stocking up on printer ink. My little printer can’t do hundreds of pages a minute, especially double sided, but it’ll be worth it in the long run to do it the more tedious way. The selections are laid out for the full three years, now all I need to do is compile and print them.