I want to share a perfect moment I experienced reading J.D. Salinger…
The novel is The Catcher in the Rye. One student tells me, “I read ahead, is that okay? This book is just getting better and better.”
We discuss Holden’s alienation. “What’s with the ducks? Oh, and the cabbie that goes on about the fish, Mrs. Huff, is that foreshadowing? Like is Holden going to be stuck like the fish in the frozen pond or fly to freedom like the ducks?” Maybe. We have to read more to see.
Let’s keep reading.
We did. One minute past dismissal, and we were still reading. I looked up at the clock — “Oh, we went over. We have to go.” No one else had even glanced at the clock, eyes riveted to the page. Six faces looked disappointed as they disentangled themselves from a book and trudged to their next class.
I smiled, folding the memory away for later. Now, as I open it, my eyes are moist with tears of joy.
This is why I became an English teacher.