Thursday, February 4, 2016

By Its Cover

I found myself in a school cafeteria, with over an hour to wait, and nothing in particular to do. I could simply have passed my hour playing Candy Crush (if I played it) or poring over old emails (which I do far too often). But before I knew it, I found myself reading my son's English class assigned book, a small volume presenting The Iliad on a middle grade level.

I'll admit, it wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I'm not so much into battle, and my life tends to be fairly grounded in the language of today. Yet, as I read, I began to feel (as if sitting in the school cafeteria hadn't done this already) a little bit of what my son goes through every day. For, while I might eagerly ask about his day, and genuinely be interested in the details of his daily adventures, I do so largely as an outsider--one who makes sure the books are in the backpack, but doesn't know what they're about. One who comments on the grades, but doesn't sit through the trauma of taking the tests.

In my hour and a half, I learned (relearned, I suppose, as I read about it in multiple forms as a kid) a little bit about the Trojan War. But more important, in my hour and a half, I learned a little bit about my son, or at least a little bit about his daily life. It's an exercise we all should probably do more often. Because sometimes, you can learn a lot about the reader of the book by going beyond the book's cover.

No comments:

Post a Comment