Goodbye to an Old Friend

Where the book came from or how I came to own it is a mystery to me. My first memory of it was when I was teaching 7th graders back in the early 70s. I had read the book of short stories titled Read with Me myself and had read Daymon Runyans “Johnny One Eye” aloud to the kids after lunch, making some of the football boys tear up and put their heads down on the desk.

I then put the book in my classroom library where many students checked it out and took it home, only to return it a little worse for the wear. (Note old-fashioned envelope pocket that the “check out card” was placed in.)

Recently I dug it out of the back of the office closet and said to myself, “It’s time.” However, first I read a few of the stories I hadn’t read yet before placing it first on the classroom bookshelf and later on a shelf to be dealt with “later. However, its deplorable condition (not to mention its smell) called for stern measures.

This book brought good literature and much pleasure to both me and my students. Farewell, old friend, you’ve done your job and done it well.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

7 thoughts on “Goodbye to an Old Friend”

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