The other day, I got to the bus stop a little early. The bus driver had her feet up on the dashboard, and her nose buried in the pages of a book. I guess she saw me waiting outside from her peripheral vision. Without taking her eyes from the words, she pressed the button to let me in and, once I was seated, pressed it again to shut the door. Moments went on and more passengers boarded, receiving the same peripheral greeting as I had. Finally it was time to be off (about a minute and a half late, if I remember correctly) and the bus driver took her feet down and closed her book, and we were off.
In about 3.3 minutes, we landed our first red light. I watched as the bus driver took a peek each way, and then once again pulled out her book. She would consistently flutter her eyes up from the book to check if the light was green. I giggled inside.
I giggled because I know how that feels--to be so involved in a book that any chance to take it out again--any red light--is a welcome moment. To be so involved that as soon as you put down the pages to go through the green light, you are not really seeing the cars pass around you or realizing that you are changing lanes. You are instead experiencing the world of the story--thinking the thoughts that the character just thought--skipping ahead of the book in your own mind to the next sentence, the next moment. Even breathing in rhythm with the characters and heart beating along with the plot. Quite an exciting adventure for your mind to fall into.
This feeling is one of the reasons that I am most excited for my Children's Literature class that I began last week. My professor told us that his goal is for us to become "converted to reading." To believe in reading for fun. To not be able to put the book down. To stay up later than you should just to get to the end of the chapter...or two chapters...or five chapters...
Doesn't that sound like an excellent educational goal?
Well, I'm excited. I can't wait to get my hands on a book like the one my bus driver had--to be converted to reading like she is. When we got to BYU and I hopped off the bus, I know she didn't miss one second of opportunity, although I did not see her. I can just imagine the hundreds of passengers that got the "peripheral" treatment as I did, and I can just imagine that bus driver's bitter sweet moment when she (no doubt while staying up too late) finally turned the last page of her book.