Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


My car engine blew up last week, and I still don't know if it can be fixed. That's the car I just bought with the insurance check, after my old car was totaled. My paycheck is the same as it was in 2008, and I was struggling then. I've been watching the news too much, and its been breaking my heart. So I had to do a gratitude list.

First, I am grateful for every student I have ever taught, and most especially for the "bad" ones. After all these years I've realized that I'm usually the problem, or that it is a teaching problem and not really a kid problem. But I have learned vastly more from my students than they could ever learn from me.

I've learned that kids have big hearts, that they want to learn, and that they are as broken as I am.

I've made so many mistakes, as a teacher and as a person. Teaching has made me more human and more compassionate.

I've learned to love, or try to love, every student that comes into my room. There is something to like about each one of them, and I start from there.

I'm grateful for the wonderful, innocent decision I made to have children. My daughters are a gift.

I'm grateful for my sweet husband, who makes me feel loved and cherished every day.

I'm grateful for books. Books have given me countless hours of immeasurable pleasure. I wouldn't be the same person without books. I am that woman who always has a book in her hand, and there are times when, if I couldn't bury myself in a book, I would have gone to a very dark place.

I'm grateful to these brothers: Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, James Alan McPherson, Kiese Laymon and others who speak the truth about their experiences in this country.

If you are reading this, I'm grateful for you, dear reader. It still cheers me that my words and ramblings are read and sometimes responded to.

Here's hoping that each one of you will enjoy love and happiness and the comfort of companionship, wherever and however you celebrate tomorrow. Peace.


Mij Woodward said...

Love your Gratitude piece. You have made me a follower of your posts, even though it looks like we do not read similar kinds of books. I am more into newish books, and mostly historical fiction. I am a 70 year old woman, who has become rather immobile due to health problems, so I love to read to escape, and I also enjoy checking out book blogs looking for a review of a book to add to my "to read" list. Somehow, I stumbled on your site here, and am very glad I did! My friend is a high school teacher, and I will be showing your site to her.

Bybee said...

I'm late to the table, but have a great holiday season. Beautiful post.

Kerry M said...

I love this. Good for you for finding the things to be grateful for. It's not always easy, but it's important.

bibliophiliac said...

@Mij-Thanks for reading! I do enjoy historical fiction, too. Reading is one of the deepest pleasures of my life...we definitely share that.

bibliophiliac said...

@Susan Bybee-Don't worry, I'm rather late myself most of the time! enjoy your holidays!

bibliophiliac said...

@Kerry-Some days I have to remind myself just how fortunate I really am.