That Dog-Eared Book

I clearly remember sitting in my 10th grade English class being asked to write a paper on a book.  But my book was different than everyone elses.

While my classmates were reading Steinbeck, my English teacher pulled out a copy of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

The cover was slightly worn, and the corners more dog-eared from sitting under a large bulk of other books, rather than page turning.

I'm sure I rolled my eyes as most typical 15-year olds and mustered some sort of cocky response to my teachers request as I took the book from his hands.

Although I was an avid book reader, initially more by consequence than by passion, being forced to report on a book I had no interest in reading was something I was not accustomed to.

Whether it took me a week or a day, I don't recall, but I remember being smitten by Daisy, enamored by the roaring 20's, and wishing that one day I could too leave my home and create a new home - like Nick did.

Reading the Great Gatsby influenced me in more ways than one, but watching it on the big screen (err-my home VCR) made our those beautiful narritives come to life.

I wanted to go to a roaring 20's party, watch a Polo match and wear fantastic vintage dresses.

Fast forward to 2011:  I am no longer a teenager and have since been forced, plenty of times, to read and research topics that I would later welcome.

It took time, but I finally got the message my teacher was aiming for:
Walk outside of your comfort zone to learn something greater than you.  
Go against the grain to add to your knowledge and add to your influence arsenal.
Here's to hoping that you read that dog-eared book that will touch you, and help you make a difference in other's lives.

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