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Daily Archives: February 2, 2015

Reading Badly

When I look around the room, I still see small acts of resistance, even liberation. There are a number of young female scientists in the class; they are preparing for year-long research projects on the habits of a particular freshwater fish, or developing a process related to the physical properties of gold. By definition, as female scientists, they are in the statistical minority. At some point, each said yes to science when most of society pointed them toward no. What moment of learning gave them that strength? They are not alone; there are other moments in which learning, or just reading, provide stability or connection. A young man in the class tells us about reading Harry Potter to his father over the phone after his parents’ divorce. “I am trying to save my life,” Sherman Alexie writes, in regards to his reading. He’s not the only one.