I started reading “An Invisible Sign of My Own” on Friday and finished it on Tuesday. Ariel said she really liked the book and wanted me to read it out loud. She had picked it up and investigated it at some point. She liked how the page numbers were vertical and in circles and the swaying words of “an invisible sign of my own” was on each top right corner of the page. I did too. We spent some of Sunday and our school hours reading this book. I had to edit however, and make it a PG rating for them. I did get some questions like “Why did you stop reading?” I would tell them that it wouldn’t make sense to them so I was skipping it. They seemed ok with that.
They enjoyed hearing about the 2nd grade classroom and what they did.
Mona Gray, the main character ended up being a Math teacher for kindergarten to 3rd grade, but we mostly heard about the 2nd grade class. She had the children make numbers out of their bodies and created math problems. We all thought that was great and Ariel jumped up as soon as she heard it and made herself into a 3. We all got up and started making numbers and math problems with our bodies. Then, we went into the alphabet and started spelling words for a while. Our largest number we created was 1111. We were all ones per Joshua’s request. And Daniel and Ariel laughed and said we are “One thousand one hundred eleven!”
There were numbers throughout the book.
It was awesome. We talked about the math problems in it. They also asked me questions about why people were saying certain things or acting a certain way, so it turned out to be a great social learning tool as well. They didn’t get a lot of things, but they did pick up on more than I had anticipated. As I read they made Lego creations, Dragon tales with Ariel’s dragons, colored, drew, looked for numbers in their toys, and also shared with me their perspective about the story. Like why was Mona was acting like that or explaining to me that the 2nd grader who was misbehaving should not act like that. They told me how some of the kids seemed mean.
During our breaks we came up with our own stories.
Since I shared about Mars the other day, I asked them which planet was their favorite and we read about their favorite planets. Ariel’s is Neptune, Joshua’s is Jupiter, and Daniel’s is Earth, but is subject to change at any moment. Then, we created our own planets and wrote stories about them. I am going to share them in another post. After we wrote our stories we drew our planets. The next day we wrote poems during our reading breaks. I will share them too on another post. We also took pictures. Later we pretended with Lego’s and Dragons that we were on our special planets. We had a great time and I think I am going to do this again with another book.
On a personal note, I have realized another thing about myself.
I know why I have such a problem with reading fiction. I need to relate to the characters, but when I do, I get too involved. It is too hard for me when I get to the end. I get sad that it is over. It does depend on the book, but when I invest in reading I am fully engrossed. With this particular book I started off excited and immediately fell in love with the characters. As the book went on it became too close to home. At times I felt like I was reading my own words and it exposed things that I wasn’t ready to expose. I thought. I do not think that it was an accident that I read this book at this particular time in my life.
It helped bring to life things in me that I have so deeply hidden.
I have already been on this journey, but the book helped solidify particular me parts that I was unsure of. It also helped me see how many things that I have quit. I quit so I wouldn’t feel, I quit so I wouldn’t fail, I quit so I would not have to deal with uncertainty. This was a hard book to read, but it was also extremely enjoyable. I saw parallels in my life and it was good to see it alive on paper. I also saw the characters as characters and felt their lives. I lived it with them in the movie that played in my head as I read it.
I get sad when I am finished with a book because I miss the characters.
Many books when I get to the end, I cry a little. I never understood why my eyes would start to fill the closer and closer I would get to the end of the book. I think I get some of it now. When I read a book it is like I am the camera man who is trying to capture all that the director wants. I get frame by frame, with the perfect setting, timing, color, lighting, stills just everything. I am capturing the very small detail with the shadows or special effects and the people. It is seeking that perfect moment where the actors capture just the right facial expression and emotional manifestations that are so important and mean so much to the story. The movie plays out and I have hoped to bring forth the complete desire of the director and what they wanted all of us to experience.
When I get to the end, I realize that many people have missed it.
All of the tiny details, the most crucial of moments are missed. The speck of dust that had a world of treasured truth was not seen. And I am sad. I miss my friends that were playing in this movie that I became intimate with. I shared in their deepest darkest times and their awesome joys and wonders and now it is over. I feel lost a bit when I finish and if I am deeply attached it can take a few days to recover my loss. This is the case with this book. I love them all. I love the town. I love the little things. This book is definitely one of my top 5. I am finished writing, but I have to share this lovely quote.
“Math and music tend to get along, supposedly music is just math in its best dress”