Monday, August 07, 2006

Summer of 2005 at the Library Changed My Life

My last few posts have been about how the summer library club reading program in Texas has changed my life and how it continues to do so each new year that I'm involved with the program. This post is about the summer of 2005, when the theme established by The Texas State Library was "Go Wild: Read!"

By the time 2005 rolled around I had learned a bit about costuming. Summer Library Programs in Texas are held in the summer…in Texas. It gets HOT!! No longer was I wearing trench coats, no matter how cool they looked in promo photos. So for the 2005 theme I dressed like a safari explorer.

Because I take my summer reading shows into the public schools and perform school assembly programs that promote reading, I also put an educational message into my programs. "Go Wild!" is about recycling and the scientific process. With the state mandated TAKS now testing Science, this has been a VERY popular program!

So, several times a day, dozens of times a week, and hundreds of times over the course of a school year, I teach about the importance of recycling.

Now, I've been a recycler for as long as I can remember. I paid for most of my gasoline in college by recycling all the aluminum beer cans consumed by the guys in my dorm.

But when you lecture about something day in and day out, any inconsistencies in your own life begin to haunt you. Even when I knew no one was looking, I just couldn't bring myself to throw out the tiny glass jelly jar. Empty soda cans consumed on the road were usually tossed in a trash can when I stopped for gas. Now I trucked them all home to recycle.

It seems little, but the fact is, that every year I perform, I learn more as I teach and I always grow as a human being as well as a performer and educator.

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