"What was big was not the trout, but the chance. What was full was not my creel, but my memory."-Aldo Leopold
This Saturday is opening day of Trout Season. It's the time of year where I can look forward to cuts, scrapes, sunburns, and smiles. I think having a hobby allows you to understand people a little better. It allows you to step back and say "just because I don't enjoy it doesn't mean it is wrong." I look forward to hours of time spent casting and retrieving with a glorious chance that I can entice a fish to strike. That may sound dumb to others, but that is what a hobby is all about, finding yourself in something that may not make sense to everyone. And because I can see that, I try to stay with the mentality that if something makes that person happy and I don't get it, who is the fool?
I mention this not only because I'm excited in getting a line wet again, but because all of our students will bring in something that defines them. I am an outdoorsman, and I cannot divorce that part of me. I know students will come in with hobbies that literally have helped them define who they are and what they believe. That may lead to great interpretations and perspectives in the literature we teach. This may be a way for us to reach a student and leave a lasting impression and reason to read. We had Hatchet and Where the Red Fern Grows that stuck out to me in 7th grade. I found many independent reading on my own based on nature writing. I think that if we can find what interests our students, we can get them to actively participate in reading.