SUMMARY - Why We Read - Shannon Reed



Here is a summary of the key points about learning from and appreciating history:

  • Engaging directly with historical sites, museums, and primary sources provides valuable firsthand experience and context beyond textbooks.

  • Understanding the cultural, social, and economic contexts of the past periods helps explain historical events and prevents presentism.

  • Recognizing history's impact on the present gives a deeper sense of continuity across generations and our shared human experience.

  • Learning from both the mistakes and accomplishments of the past can provide lessons to guide decisions today.

  • Engaging with history makes us more aware of changing viewpoints and progress over time. It fosters a well-rounded appreciation for how we got to the present.

    Here is a summary of the key points:

  • The story describes an English teacher helping one of her students, Carla, access the public library as a resource for books.

  • Carla loved reading but felt limited by the small selection at their school library. When she couldn't find a book there, the teacher suggested trying the public library.

  • However, Carla revealed she didn't use the public library because she thought she couldn't afford it. The teacher realized Carla didn't know public libraries offer free cards and borrowing.

  • After the teacher explained this to Carla, she was very excited to visit the public library. The next day, Carla eagerly showed the teacher a large stack of books she checked out across many genres.

  • The teacher was touched that Carla wanted to share her discovery, seeing it demonstrated how meaningful free access to the library was for sparking her love of reading outside of school. The story highlights the value public libraries can provide students.

    Here is a summary:

The passage discusses narrative techniques used in literary fiction to manipulate readers and surprise them with plot twists. It argues that effective twists arise organically from the relationships established between the author, narrator and audience/reader.

Some examples are analyzed, like the unreliable narrator in The Great Gatsby or twist in Gone Girl. Students often want to write their own twists, but workshopping prone twists usually fail if the twist does not make narrative sense or is seen coming based on clues.

The author encourages students to analyze existing twists more deeply in terms of these narrative relationships, rather than just focusing on predicting them. When done well, twists can logically unfold from exploration of the narrator's perspective and position vs the reader's experience, creating surprise and impact within the narrative framework established.

Here is a summary:

The passage reflects on the author's early exposure toideas of mortality through her father's work as a Lutheran pastor. As a pastor, he dealt directly with issues of life, death, illness and health.

The author explains that death and mortality were not abstract concepts she remembers learning about, but rather were present from a young age through her father's profession. He would share stories from pastoral care visits that gave her glimpses into human experiences of sickness and dying.

While she did not fully comprehend these complex topics as a child, they informed her developing understanding of what it means to be human and face life's end. Growing up in a household where her father routinely ministered to the ill and dying normalized discussions of mortality in an age-appropriate way.

This upbringing shaped how the author viewed death as a natural part of life, rather than something frightening to be avoided. She attributes her early exposures through her father's work with helping her develop a matter-of-fact acceptance of mortality from a young age.

Here is a summary:

  • The author expresses deep gratitude and love for her mother, Gloria Reed.

  • She thanks her mother for supporting her work and life over nearly 50 years by ensuring she always had the essentials - things like books, meals, money, and friendship.

  • The mother took care of these practical needs so that the author could focus her energy on her writing and creative work.

  • The passage recognizes the mother's role in facilitating the author's career by handling much of the background work and responsibilities.

  • In closing, the author affirms her love for her mother and appreciation for the lifetime of care and enablement that allowed her to pursue her goals.

So in summary, this section pays meaningful tribute to the author's mother for nearly 50 years of providing love, care and enabling support that formed the foundation for her daughter's work.

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