October 24th, 2006


thoughts about scanning and a book I read

I have a love/hate relationship with my scanner this week. I have scanned about 2,000 pages in the last 48 hours: five library books and all of my handouts and articles from the last several weeks. I have two books remaining and a few left to pick up for my research paper. I'm tired of scanning. It beats working with readers; but it takes up a lot of time and absolutely demands that I remain healthy and able to stay up.

Last Wednesday, I decided that I would just blow the day and read a book that had nothing to do with school. I don't regret it. I need to read other things, take breaks. I spend so much time on school! I read a book by Linda Atkins called Jamaica and Me. The book tells the story of Linda's attempt to build a friendship with a homeless child who is at the mercy of the state welfare system. The child is often moved from one place to another, and Linda struggles to maintain communication and visitation rights. Eventually, Jamaica re-enters foster care and is lost.

Reading Linda's anecdotes about her interactions with Jamaica was touching. Reading about the ways the staff treated her and their low expectations of her made me cry. At the end of the book, when I learned that she was lost, I was deeply disappointed. What happened to this child with so much untouched potential but so much unhealed pain? I hate unfinished things! But Jamaica's story calls me to realize a truth: that there are many Jamaicas in the world who don't have a Linda in their lives--not now and maybe not ever. This one was blessed.

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