New Year's Book Resolutions by Director of Academic Support Gia Batty
Over time, my New Year’s resolutions have run the gamut--from trying to take more family photographs to sending more handwritten notes to not using nail polish. One year, I resolved to always return my shopping cart to its proper place (and not in the parking spot next to my car). I’ve resolved to do more yoga, cook less meat, yell at my children less, drink more water, and eat less sugar. If anything, New Year’s resolutions help me to quickly identify all of the things I’m doing wrong in my life…
Last year, I realized that I needed to resolve to read more, and, unlike all of the resolutions I’ve made in the past, it stuck. It worked because I love to read. I mean, I really, really love to read. I always have, but between my work at school and my responsibilities at home with my family, I just wasn’t doing enough of it. Instead of reading the books I bought or received as gifts, I’d end up with little piles of them next to my bed, on the coffee table, and even in my school bag. Then, every time I saw one, I’d start to feel bad about not reading it. It was terrible.
So, last January, I unplugged the television in my bedroom and started reading at night. I listened to audiobooks while I walked the dog and did laundry. I read on Saturday mornings before everyone else woke up. I kept a book in my car for basketball practices that ran late or days when the kids wanted to stay later at the playground. I read a lot in 2014, and I’m so glad I did.
Even with all that reading, there are still a handful of books that I just haven’t gotten to. So, this year, to make sure I do it, I’m making 5 New Year’s book resolutions. Want to join me?
1. The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age, by Catherine Steiner-Adair
I heard Steiner-Adair speak at the Learning and the Brain conference in November and was blown away by the scope and depth of her research into how technology is affecting families. I left her workshop feeling slightly anxious, but also really intrigued. I also raced home and adjusted the filters on all of the devices my kids use to search the internet. Read the book and you’ll see what I mean!
2. Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up: Help Your Child Overcome Slow Processing Speed and Succeed in a Fast-Paced World, by Ellen Braaten
I’m very interested in Dr. Braaten’s research and strategies around kids with slow processing speed. In a fast paced school environment like Nobles, I am always looking for ways to support students who think and learn at a different pace. The truth is, we are all striving to slow down, to decompress, and to unwind, and I think we all have something to learn from those who process the world at a slower pace.
3. The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload, by Daniel Levitan
Psychologist, neuroscientist, musician and record producer, Daniel Levitin is the real deal. He is also the Dean of the Arts and Humanities at the Minerva Schools, which is my latest education obsession. I heard him speak this year and vowed to read his humongous book (528 pages) about how we can and should work to organize our mind. We need to work harder to do this because we’ve created more information in the last five years than we have in all of creation. Yikes!
4. We Were the Mulvaneys, by Joyce Carol Oates
I have been wanting to read this book for at least 10 years. The audiobook has been on my iPod for two years. I just started listening to it. I love it, but please don’t tell me what happens. I know it’s bad, but, seriously, don’t tell me.
5. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, by Hilary Mantel
I’m actually saving this book for a flight I’ll be taking by myself in April. It’s rare that you are ever 100% sure that you will love a book, but that’s how I feel about this one.
These are five definite titles in what I hope to be a long list of books that I read in 2015. If you’d like to discuss any of them, feel free to email me at Nobles.
Here’s to another year of reading!