Archive for June 24th, 2014

  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.


The theater was practically empty on a Tuesday afternoon during a storm. But Carolyn and I didn’t mind. We both forgot our Kleenex, so she slipped out just when Augustus and Hazel got to Amsterdam knowing full well we would both need napkins. Why do we do this to ourselves? Yet we were both gloriously sobbing. Cleansing or stupid?

I warn my students when they have to read Where the Red Fern Grows in the summer between 5th and 6th grade, “Do not read the end in public. Close yourself into your room and get under the sheets.”

Carolyn and I both read the book. We knew what was coming, but we watched anyway. And loved it. I don’t really understand why, except that humans are like this. We want to love, and we want to watch others fall in love. I was right there with Hazel and Augustus. I don’t even know the actors’ real names.

Literature and good movies move us. They reveal to us the faults, the beauty, and the sadness of life in a way that is safe. We can crawl under the covers and read the book, wipe away the tears, and move on. Move on in a better way, more full, heart attuned to life. The leaves look greener somehow.

I don’t know if you should go see The Fault in our Stars, but if you do, your heart will swell and you will cry, but as Augustus says to Hazel, “Oh, I don’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.” It is a privilege to have your heart broken by The Fault in our Stars.

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