As my mind wonders and contemplates on how to officially end my academic journey, I came across this quote that best summarizes an overwhelming experience that I’ve just gone through. This annotation task, although strenous and time consuming, has become an opened door of opportunity for me to start my quest with the wonderful world of children’s literature. I am still astounded by after effect of the books I read. Reflecting on what C. S.
Lewis wrote in his dedication for the book The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again”, I feel so privileged that despite of difficulties, I manage to hop into an adventure with the wonderful world of books and been to different places that no one has ever been and meet great people that only few has met. No wonder that euphoria, not a heavy heart, preoccupies my thoughts as I’m about to end an academic reading experience. There is more wonders to explore, more heroic characters to befriend with, more emotions to linger and there is no reason for me to stop.
This is just the beginning. For less than a month, I have read 74 books with which 53 I have annotated, 32 I have formally chosen to include in this assignment, certainly the most number of books I have ever read in my entire life. I opted to read printed books only since I am a visual learner and I internalized reading experience more than online sources. Time Constraints will always be a problem on assignments like this so I put this idea aside. Onset of my personal adventure, the first thing that hindered me is my source of resources, especially with the local text selections.
Living in a foreign land without even knowing where to find the basic requirements of this task brought me to find achievable options in real time such as going through different sites for possible online text, going to the community libraries of Singapore for foreign selections and even seeking help from my friends in the Philippines for local distribution. Good thing that the central library of Singapore has archives for few notable Philippine text, including children’s books and my friend who works for Alitaptap Storytellers has some local prints photographed and emailed to me.
With only limited sources for local texts, I was able to finally maximize my resources but this has lead me to another problem of choosing at least 20 text from thousands of varied choices. I’ve gone through different sites and printed lists of the award winning and recommended children’s books, I looked for these text in the children’s section of the library only to end up stumbling with numerous books that I’ve browsed without essentially annotating details. Children’s books entertained my childlike self so much that three weeks had already passed and more than 70 books have slipped in my hands before I have started reading academically.
Now that only 1 week has left for me, I still had so much things to do and haven’t even picked the books to complete my list. As I’ve gone back to the books of my personal selections which are mostly of narrative content (Fiction, Traditional, Poetry), my next problem was to pick at least 20, based on 60-40 distribution and accurate number of books per general types. As I enjoyed making notes on each book details, with disregard on the paragraph section, I ended up annotating 53 books instead. Selecting appropriate text from 53 outstanding contestants felt like judging a beauty contest where everyone are qualified to top the list.
I had to prioritize local text so in as much as I want to retain my personal which are mostly fictional types, I had to make sacrifices. And soon I have completed my list, I ended up with 32 great books of appropriate distribution, I supposed. Sleepless nights came after, and the next thing I have to face is the art of summarizing and adding my personal views in limited sentences along with struggles in identifying the needs, interests, values and issues of children literature and the basic concerns for selecting these text.
Some books are either too ornate or too lengthy (especially the novel types) to be summarized into 3 sentences so I had to use certain strategies and maximize my resources. I read some online reviews and use a separate paper to write pointers so as to serve as brief outlines and as soon as I listed the details I needed, my next problem was to write my personal ornate reaction into a sensible two sentences.
After battling with the whole process of annotation, I was finally relieved when I looked back at what I somehow finished. Now that I was able to finish a part of the academic tasks, one of the enormous difficulties I’ve faced was synthesizing everything into a one-page essay of unitary concept. Although I had an overwhelming experience with the wonderful world of children’s books, I realized that it is actually difficult to write difficulties.
It was also hard to sum up what I learned in this TMA into few paragraphs, knowing that I also had a lot of ideas to put into writing. Relating my personal insights to the varied concepts introduced in the modules from Unit 1 to Unit 3, I chose which the content areas are necessary to conclude. After outlining the difficulties and the actions I’ve taken to overcome each, I began writing my journey while tripping down the memory lane of an exhausting, yet fulfilling adventure with children’s literature.
According to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an English poet and a literary critic, readers may be divided into four classes: First, the Sponges or those who absorb all that they read and return it in nearly the same state, only a little dirtied; Secondly, Glasses, who retain nothing and are content to get through a book for the sake of getting through the time; Thirdly, Strain-bags, who retain merely the dregs of what they read and; Lastly, Mogul Diamonds, who equally rare and valuable, who profit by what they read, and enable others to profit by it as well.
As I looked back at the personal and academic experience of this assignment, I felt a sense of achievement because I realized that I have actually become a Mogul Diamond from being a Glass in just a month of engaging into the world of children’s books. I couldn’t believe that I have transformed into valuable reader, and in fact, I am starting to share the wonders of reading to my children while developing a deeper love for reading at the same time.
Being a busy person, I would only grab books when I needed to, such as assignments and when I put myself to sleep. But having been in the wonderful journey with books has also changed how I looked at it. As what Charles W. Eliot said, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends and that they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers. “